How beautiful has New York been these last few days? I’ve hugged strangers and held their hands across grocery counters. We’ve cried together and I let a stranger sleep on my shoulder on the train yesterday because the sadness was too heavy for his poor body anymore. I wanted to rub his back but didn’t want to push it and make him uncomfortable in a quiet moment of need. In NYC space is such a commodity. We pay more than anyone can really believe for it, and for those large sums of money we get small, old, often dirty, plots of property that we usually share with roommates. During rush hour, we compete with sardines for how tightly we can compress bodies into little vessels that will get us to work. It’s no surprise that we put our headphones on, look down at our phones or tablets, even close our eyes….because sometimes the only place a New Yorker can get some space is in their own minds…and that joke writes itself, considering we’re not exactly famous for being the calmest community of people. But yesterday I couldn’t connect with my fellow New Yorkers enough. I looked as many people as I could in the eyes, forcing out the kindest smile that I was able to manage, crying a bit usually. This afternoon a woman called me “cousin” — we were totally different colors and from completely different generations but she knew that I was hers and she wanted to tell me she was mine too. New York, that’s when you are so beautiful to me. So colorful and loud and confused and queer and creative. And this week was so insulting to everything that makes you great. I promise that I will fight it with you

Thank God I am a woman. Thank God I am Jewish. Thank God I am an assault survivor. My DNA knows nothing but how to survive and persevere. I am scared but my fear only feeds my fight.