Yes I'm talking about the Jay Z/Alicia Keys song, not the building (though I promise to talk about it later this month).
This song came out just a couple months before I made the big move from Georgia to NYC. I was following my dream of wanting to live in New York, a dream I'd had since my first visit when I was in 10th grade. And - bonus! - I was also embarking on the great adventure of moving in with the man I loved and chasing his dream of being an actor. Empire State of Mind became my personal mantra. I knew next to nothing about all of the many things Jay Z raps about in the verses, but I was excited to understand and to get to know the city.
You know what? I was not-so-surprised to find that this state of mind does exist. I can be in the worst of moods when I leave work, but when I step onto the sidewalk and look up to see the Empire State Building as I start my walk to the subway I'm reminded of how thrilled I am to be living here. Nothing beats that flutter of excitement in my chest when I'm able to get from one end of the city to the other without consulting my map...or being able to answer directional questions from tourists without a second thought...or being able to be the one who suggests a great place to eat or shop.
To wrap this up and bring it back around to the song, I'll tell you about an amazing moment. Not long after we moved here, JP and I went out with some friends to one of my favorite bars, M1-5. It was a busy night and it got crowded fast. The music was blaring so everyone had to speak up to be heard and while there was a small dance floor, most people paid little mind to the music. At some point Empire State of Mind came on and I was all excited as I started bobbing my head along with the music. I was gearing up to belt it out right along with Alicia and as I opened my mouth to sing, I was shocked by the sudden noise of seemingly every person in the bar belting it out right along with me. It was an amazing moment to see everyone's drink raised and hear everyone singing about their love for their city. NYC and its people are simply amazing.