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Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at my desk, overwhelmed and exhausted, when the email popped up.  The subject was, “Busy today???”

It was my friend Judy.  I’ve known her for nine years, since she filled in as a temp in my office.  At the time she was fresh out of college, her spirit enthusiastic and infectious.

I clicked open the email.

“Want to go find Banksy????”

Banksy is a famous graffiti street artist—identity unknown—who has taken residence in New York for the month of October.  I’ve been following him on Instagram, and I get a little giddy whenever he posts his latest work of street art.

But by the time Judy’s email made its way into my inbox, I was tired.  Besides, I’d already RSVP’d to attend a party for a friend’s store opening that evening.  Because I like to keep my word, I only planned to stop by, say hello, and then go home and go to bed.

Instead, I spontaneously and enthusiastically said yes. I rationalized that I could stop by the party once we saw the art.

As I made my way down to Tribeca, the breezy city air gently cupped my face, and I felt freed from my daily routine.

I arrived before she did.  There was a small crowd gathered, quietly taking pictures, with an almost reverential hush in the air.

The art was a diminutive, but moving, tribute to the old World Trade Center towers. An orange flower was place strategically where the airplane hit on that fateful day in 2001.

Banksy Tribeca

We took our pictures and then left the scene, feeling happy that we’d seen a hidden gem.

Judy turned to me and said that her friend told her about a similar piece of art that had popped up in Brooklyn.  It was suspected to be a Banksy as well, but it hadn’t been confirmed.

“Let’s go see it.”  I said it with such certainty I surprised myself.


So we hopped on the subway and went to Brooklyn.

We walked through the streets to the upper level of the Brooklyn Promenade, where I’d never been.  Even in the dark of the evening, it was charming.  Easily, we found the tiny mural alongside a wall, painted directly in front of the skyline where the towers once stood.

Banksy Brooklyn

I felt oddly happy.  Two friends enjoying each other’s company in the cool fall air, with a backdrop of quiet that I rarely know in my city.  We laughed at our spontaneity, rare in our worlds of deadlines and challenging clients.

“YOLO!” Judy exclaimed.  It made me laugh.  You only live once, indeed.

Sitting down on a park bench, just talking, we looked out at the beautiful Manhattan skyline.

I knew I would miss the party.

I looked up at the sky, the stars visible in between the billowy clouds and the moon high above us.  I closed my eyes and I inhaled.

As I exhaled, I said, “Let’s remember tonight and how lucky we are.”

She giggled.  “Yes.  Let’s.”

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