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The view from across my building: Bryant Park with the Empire State Building in the background

This is my first day after the three week vacation I took over the holidays, and it seemed appropriate that winter hit me head on with freezing temps.  So all bundled up in my fuschia pink long coat and leather gloves, I managed to cross the street without getting teary from the cold winds.  I took the picture above for my friend, Fe, for whom Bryant Park holds special memories.  (I look across the street and I actually “see” Fe.)

I take an express bus like the one in the picture although of a different line.  I get off at the corner to the left and then walk across to my building.  From there I take two elevators to the 41st floor, the topmost floor of this green glass building that has a commanding view of the park and the New York Public Library in the back.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, I am reminded I’m supposed to be in (one of) the greatest cit(ies) on earth.  After three weeks in Manila, it feels like I’m walking in a movie set or in a TV series.  Then it hits me: I’m back.

I would’ve wanted to go around the park while the shops were still there, but the temperatures were too low for me to brave the cold.  Besides, I knew I had to go up and start with the catching up.

Somehow the difference between Manila and New York — not only in actual infrastructure but in the feeling as well — is more pronounced this time around.  It pops from out of the frame, almost.  I can’t help but think with everyone putting New York on their bucket list, here I am wishing I was in Manila instead, breathing in the polluted air of EDSA, jostling through the crowds of Greenbelt and Trinoma.

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