“Controlled chaos,” my friend succinctly provided his summary of the Big Apple. I nodded in agreement. But, after reflecting a bit in my hotel room later that night, I thought his assessment painted only a single stroke in the otherwise endless strokes of New York City’s portrait. “Controlled chaos” implied an environment that was somehow inorganically managed and inherently chaotic.
It didn’t seem right to me. Chaotic, yes, but not always and not everywhere.
I wracked my brains for days trying to decipher the secret writing on the proverbial wall that would unlock the meaning of this puzzling city.
I gave up.
Then, while sitting on the steps overlooking the beautifully orchestrated chaos that is Times Square, a strange sense of peace washed over me. And as I looked around at everything around me, it became clear: New York City isn’t a selection of words or emotions; it is a compilation of everything, of all emotions, feelings, and thoughts rolled into one.