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I have been thinking a lot about New York recently,
actually I haven’t stopped thinking about
the city of my dreams since I left.
I still remember the taxi ride that I took to the airport
when I knew I was leaving, and actually becoming teary-eyed,
and incredibly sad to leave-
I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind,
I felt lost, I felt bereft.

As I watched the skyscrapers disappear in the distance over my shoulder,
I remembered every extraordinary moment that I had
in the best city and my favourite city in the world;
I remembered the friends that I had met for the first time,
who I cannot wait to meet again;
I remembered the places that I visited,
and even now can still remember every detail of every moment-
from the faces that I saw, to the sounds and the noises
and the voices that I heard-
I still feel I am reliving every overwhelming and inspiring moment,
as if I can easily jump backwards and forwards in time
from the now to the then, and back again.

Being in New York City was one of the best times of my life.
While I was there my entire destiny came into focus,
and I realized where I was and where I wanted to be.
Being in New York City, feeling the energy of everything
and everybody inside of me made it possible for the first time
to connect me to a higher knowledge of purpose,
and I felt unbelievable wherever I was-
whether I was standing in Times Square being bathed in colour
by the giant screens or the flashing lights,
or standing at the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world-
and I even remember closing my eyes and reaching above me,
as if I could literally touch the sky.

I can still remember the smiling face of my friend,
the fantastic street-performer Natalia Paruz
playing her musical saw in the subway,
I can still feel the elation that I felt every second
I was standing in front of her hearing her completely hypnotized
and in-awe of her, watching her, talking to her,
telling her how I couldn’t wait to come back to New York
even though I hadn’t yet left, seeing her again,
maybe even collaborating with her someday,
and being a part of her music that truly moves me like no other,
and of course hear her and watch her play.

I can still remember standing in Grand Central Station,
being surrounded by what seemed like thousands of people
all in transition to somewhere else;
I can still remember waiting for my amazing and awesome friend Kyle
to arrive and for us to share a meal and a meet-up together
that was epic on every level,
and added on an extra level of magic to my time there-
and the Umami burger that we had was to die for, I can tell you,
and it tasted like nothing else.

I feel like I am still sitting in Central Park sometimes,
on my favourite bench in the shadow of a statue of William Shakespeare,
in the incredible and beautiful golden light of the early morning sun-
every morning at seven I would wake up, get dressed,
walk out of my hotel, go to my favourite coffee shop, Starbucks,
and then walk through Central Park,
and then just sit there and take in everything that I saw, heard, and felt,
and feel like I left my own impression there, my own shadow there
for me to one day return to and find and relive again the incredible experience
that it is to be a part of the place that makes your heart beat like a drum.

I don’t want to forget anything that happened while I was in New York City.
I don’t want to replace the memories that I made there,
and I don’t want to forget the joy that I felt taking every step
down every avenue and street on every sidewalk.
I want to go back as soon as I can.
I want to go there and share everything that I know
and will always love about this city,
and what it will always mean to me.
I want to go to the crown of the Statue of Liberty,
look back at the city, and stare, and say out-loud
the thing that I have been repeating in my mind and in my heart
from the second I left and longed to return:
and that is that I love this city so much,
I love my New York.

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On a cold February morning,
as the wind blew bitter cold
and the clouds in the sky were as white as snow
and appearing to be giving a sign to all of forewarning,
as I walked down the steps of a subway
my ears and my mind could not believe what they heard-
the music that played out and got louder as I drew nearer to the source
was entrancing, energising, beautiful- I was truly lost for words.

The subway tunnels were like a network,
branching in all directions left and right;
but the music guided me to its player,
as if each echo were a beacon of not only sound but of flashing light.

As I turned a corner, I immediately felt powerful sound-waves hit me
and reverberate through my body,
I was instantly stopped in my tracks
as I came face to face with the eclectic
and amazing musician who seemed genuinely happy to see me
and to be playing for me.

The incredible music I discovered was coming from a musical saw,
and it was being played by a woman who I will never forget
and I will always remember her name:
Natalia Paruz, the “Saw Lady”,
whose music was and is unlike anything else I have ever heard,
and the joy on her face told me that
she was doing what she loved and what she loves is playing.

I don’t know what she was playing for me,
for all I know it could have been a completely new and original creation
that she was composing as she played;
it didn’t matter,
what this incredibly-gifted woman was playing
as she sat looking up at me was magic in every way.

I don’t know for how long I stood watching, listening, imagining;
but I suddenly became distracted
when I noticed that other passers-by were approaching.
As always, I remembered that I had somewhere to be.
Still entranced by the woman’s music,
and wanting very much to repay her for blessing me with her gift,
I took out five dollars from my pocket-
all the money that I had on me at the time-
and I put it into the gold buckect in front of her,
and I again saw her amazing smile as I watched her face lift.

Not long after leaving the subway,
I sat looking out of the window of a coffee shop at the rest of the world
that was now being bathed in bright sunshine,
as I reflected on the woman, her saw, and on her music.
I was still overcome by the experience of meeting the musician in the subway-
even though it had only been for a short amount of time,
it was unbelievably-meaningful and beautiful-
I can find no other word, there is simply no other way
that I can find to describe her, her music,
and the way that her music made me feel,
and continues to make me feel, without using the word epic!

I hope the subway continues to echo
the beautiful voice of the saw player forever.
I hope that even when she is not there
she is there in people’s mind and heart who have heard her play.
I hope people will never stop being intrigued and ensorcelled by her.
I hope the entire world will one day be blessed
to hear the beautiful symphony of the saw lady of the subway.

Check out Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz’s amazing and beautiful music
by checking out her website www.SawLady.com, follow her on twitter
@SawLady, or perhaps you may be lucky enough to hear Natalia’s
beautiful saw music in person as she plays on the New York City subway.

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