Have you ever looked at the ceiling of Grand Central Station? It's a star-speckled allegory of manufactured constellations, told in teal and daffodil. It's simple and it's glorious. I'd only just noticed it.

I've never been particularly taken by New York. The city is hectic and loud and pushy -- all things that I prefer not to be. The western interior (more specifically, Denver) has my heart in its courteous, outdoorsy grip -- it won me with its sunshiny dog parks and drivers who only honk in order to prevent an imminent accident. As far as I've always been concerned, NYC could keep its sounds and pretzels and grime and 8 million stories.

But the last time I visited the Big Apple, I found myself gawking around the streets like a ruddy cheeked tourist, awed and enthralled by the diversity and ingenuity omnipresent in the parts which construct it. Even the grimy underbits of the city were filled with lovely little embellishments to "jeepers! do you see that?!" over. It's a city filled with touches -- some premeditated, some serendipitous. 

And it's not just the architecture -- it's the people. Like two shirtless strangers on a park bench in Brooklyn, who both just happened to be named Joe.

I can't say I'm in love with New York, but I respect it more than I used to. I've come to appreciate some of what millions of others have seen in it over the years. It's a city with layers -- with history. It's served as the stage and set pieces to countless little human triumphs and tragedies, and you can see that in the bricks and chrome which compose its oft related streets. I suppose I'm excited to go back.