Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
It was my first afternoon in New York City. On my own, in the sunshine, a Polaroid camera in my hands — just the way I like it. After meeting my agent and editor for breakfast — our first meeting, and an auspicious moment in itself — I wandered through Madison Square Park and made my way towards Greenwich Village; considering it was my very first time in the city I didn’t for a moment feel out of place or lost. Perhaps it’s because so many of the films, artists and music I love were born in New York, but whatever it was, I felt completely and perfectly at home. Sauntering along Bleeker Street, turning a corner then another, letting my feet lead the way with no agenda, no worries, just me and the city. It was my afternoon of bliss… excitement… discovery… freedom.
When I snapped the photo above with my iPhone I was feeling as present and alive as I’d been watching my nephew be born five months earlier. Euphorically alive. How the streets glowed in the afternoon light! The pavement hot and dirty, the scent of food impossible to distinguish — Mexican? Hot dogs? Coffee & sickly doughnuts were in there for sure. The people enchanted me: the lady who gave me the address of her favourite book shop in London; the guy who invited me to an art party; the gent who admired my Polaroid and let me shoot his portrait. It was all so seductive. I fell in love with a city, and every time i see photos of New York my heart aches like it would for a long-lost lover. Ridiculous, really, but I am smitten.