The Rush


Leah Snyderman

From twenty-one stories up, I can still feel the energy of New York City.

There’s a rush I get emerging from the tunnel.

     The silence of being underwater is quickly consumed by the hustling noise of taxis swerving and pedestrians calling. 

     I can clearly picture the split in the road when you exit the tunnel. You go down to go uptown and up to go downtown. 

     My mom’s Tahoe barely fits in the lane as she makes the cut-down. City driving has always scared me, but she doesn’t seem to be phased.

     We drive along the West Side Highway, avoiding the tourists in Midtown. I look backward to The Edge, hanging off the sky, and try to pin the Empire State Building, which once held the title of tallest skyscraper. Further downtown, the Freedom Tower is too far out of sight for a foggy day. 

     The rush takes a pause during the crosstown drive through Central Park. Brick walls growing with ivy block the cars in, making you forget you’re in the metropolis. 

     It hits you again emerging from this tunnel of green. It’s only a few more blocks now, and the race to find a spot begins.

     After my mom pulls off her world-renowned parallel parking job, we start the trek up. Two Mount Everest steps later, we reach the elevator that launches us up 21 flights. 

     At the end of the hallway, there’s a locked door. The black keys unlock the top, the red keys the bottom. Even though it’s an immediate sauna, I can’t help but freeze. 

     I could stare at the view for the rest of my life. The constant change of the skyline mixed with the nightly sunsets makes sure it would never be the same view. 

     From 21 stories up, I can still feel the energy. The kids playing on roofs, the adults on their lunch breaks, the dogs looking for that one patch of grass—they all have the rush. 

     That rush is what I call home.