I love river-side or sea-side waterfronts. I don't know - I guess it's a Mumbai thing. Staring out at the rolling waves gushing against shore brings a calming feeling. Being at the shore allows me to collect my thoughts, think about them rationally, and nitpick my way through the pros/cons of a situation in front of me.
Exchange Place. Some people might only know this as a train station - but to me, this place is serenity defined. The NYC landscape is a stone's throw away from the waterfront - and being one step away from lower Manhattan compluses me to think if I really belong there or not.
The very first time I visited this place was years ago in November '03. It was extremely chilly out because I remember shivering a tiny bit. Can't remember exactly what it was that drew me towards the water - but the effect of this attraction-at-first-sight still remains. Ever since then, throughout my college years, this is one place that I've visited when I'm either sad, confused, or frustrated.
About three years ago, I interned at a firm located at Exchange Place. After the drag and drone of the usual workday, I automatically drifted near the waterfront and walked to my heart's content before catching the train home. I used to walk all the way to this one corner - where the pathway basically ends - and stood there gazing out, contemplating what exactly it was that I wanted from life. Months have rolled into years, and I still haven't found the answer to that question.
I visited my much loved sanity space again today, after many many months. I did my usual routine - walk it out, sit, walk to the corner where the pathway ends and stare out at the Hudson as it extends beyond the bridge in sight. The sunny evening reliquinshed itself to twilight. The crowd started thinning out a bit and so did my restlessness. The frustration melted away. The glass was half-full again.
I'm still unable to express what it is in this half a mile of stretched concrete embracing the Hudson - but trust me, it keeps me sane.