One of my favorite places in New York City is Main Street Park. It's a small patch of green right below the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn.
Here's the reason why I love it:
It has an expansive view of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Jane's Carousel. There's this majestic view of the concrete jungle yet you are so close to the water and surrounded by many trees.
I only go twice or thrice a year, always in the summer. It's a perfect spot during sunset when natural light makes the buildings glow. When darkness hits, lights from buildings, apartments, the surrounding bridges, and boats on the river reveal another side of the city.
I always seek gratitude whenever I'm here.
It's also the muse for a yearly tradition: watercolor practice.
It started in 2012. This was a random sketch in my visual journal. It was colorful, haphazard, full of detail.
In 2013, this is what my skyline looked like. I had just taken watercolor classes where I learned techniques to refine my style.
I liked how you can tell a story with different shades of a single color.
This year, I visited again. This was made quickly, with washes of color layered on top of each other.
And those tiny dots?
It's glitter built into the paint! NYC is a city that always sparkles, doesn't it?
I take comfort in the fact that this city, this bridge, this view will always be there. It will always welcome me back and allow me to stay as long as I want.
It will be the same, but like my paintings, it will be different each year.
As another year ends, I'm already looking forward to the summer and the next version of the same painting.
In a few days, as we begin a new year, I wish to simplify. To pare down to the essentials. But also to make better versions of what already exists.
And I wish the same for you.