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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Slowing Down to See the Details

Bronze Owl Statue
Photo by myself of one of the bronze statues near Herald Square.

Owls supposedly scare away pigeons, so you see a lot of them around the city in the attempt to curb pigeon droppings. In the olden days, stone masons carved them into building facades.

There are several bronze owl statues in a little park near Macy's. They're hard to see if you're in a rush.


There was a cute little blurb in The New Yorker magazine last week about some cross-pollination between Italy and New York.

A small group of Italians who call themselves L’Arte del Vivere con Lentezza, or The Art of Living Slowly, visited New York recently. They attempted to persuade New Yorkers to slow down and not compete so much.

I'm not sure how far they got, but their intentions were wonderful. Why kill yourself for first place, when you can settle for third place, or even last?

I have to say there's something to the Italian lifestyle that is eternally appealing. The idea of walking around the city after a late dinner, chatting with a loved one is brilliant.

Who needs the rat race?


Ha Ha Sound said...

Totally agreed. One of my dreams is to have a vacation house on the Italian coast. Or to just leave NYC and move there. It'd be bliss, I think.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I love Italy. Whenever i have been to Italy, I come away thinking I will stay at that pace for ever, won't get sucked back into rushing - but it's impossible to do that whenever else is whizzing around.

When I was in France, people were talking about NY, and someone asked me if I had been. I found myself hesitating and for a split second wondered if I had - all because I feel like I know the place from your blog. I think they thought I was a bit dotty, not remembering whether I had been to NY or not!!!

Spandrel Studios said...

A stop and smell the roses approach to life never hurt anyone, right? I think the Italians are onto something... although I've got to wonder what everyone thought when the guy was handing out his "tickets."

At least those who slowed down to look at his brochures interrupted their go-go-go thoughts to ponder something positive about life!

Great photo, as usual, Kitty!

Carolyn said...

What would New York be without it's hustle and bustle. That's what it is known for.

I wouldn't like to live that way but..........

Nice Pic!


Kitty said...

Hey Ha Ha
Ah, the proverbial summer place. Being able to have a touch of New York without its humidity and crowds would be ideal. What a life!

I guess it's a matter of not responding to everything whirling around you? Takes a tough person.

How cute about your France trip? Too funny!

Hi Spandrel
lol people must've thought Ticket Guy was just another kook.

I agree, positive thinking is a wonderful thing. It can really change your life.

Thanks Carolyn
It's hard not to be bustling here, lol. I've become quite th crotchety NYer during rush hour!

BrianC said...

I think in general terms most Europeans have a better sense of how to slow down and enjoy "time off," whether that's via an actual vacation, or through an afternoon tea or siesta. The European states also encourage far more liberal vacation and leave allowances than the U.S., so it's even a matter of policy. Americans, even beyond New York, move at a frenetic pace. It's part of our national psyche. Just look at Alexis de Tocqueville's observation from "Democracy in America" (1835):

"It is odd to watch with what feverish ardor Americans pursue prosperity. Ever tormented by the shadowy suspicion that they may not have chosen the shortest route to get it. They cleave to the things of this world as if assured that they will never die, and yet rush to snatch any that comes within their reach as if they expected to stop living before they had relished them. Death steps in, in the end, and stops them before they have grown tired of this futile pursuit of that complete felicity which always escapes them."

That explains much of the American "character" and behavior of the last 200 years, and is certainly applicable in 2008.

Anonymous said...

If I had to choose an unusual picture your photo would be the one I selected for today. I love owls.

Please, whatever you do, don't visit my blog today (Wednesday) as I lost my mind, I think owing to medicine from my hospital stay, and posted some really gross stuff.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

Mom Knows Everything said...

My father always said you're going to go to hell soon enough, why rush to get there. Life is too short to rush things.

Kitty said...

Hey Brian
It's too bad Americans aren't a little more easy going.

It's amazing to see there's a history to this tendency. Who knew? (Alexis, evidently).

Hi Mr Lincoln
I love owls, too. They are so beautiful, watchful, graceful and strong.
I'll have to check out what you wrote!

Hi Tammy
Love your father's way of seeing things, lol! So true!

Jane Hards Photography said...

You really have an eye for capturing people and conveying individual's moments.In such a busy place, one policeman takes time out and you have captured that perfectly.

I think UK is actually getting increasingly frantic as well.( mainly whay i moved to this island ).Mainland Europe still a wonderful, slower pace, and for me it would be France, as my choice, especially the South.