The best piece of advice I got before coming to New York for the summer was not, “Don’t walk around alone at night” or “Watch out for murderous taxis.” It was this: “Always carry an umbrella.” It rained pretty much the entire month of June, so my mini-umbrella was hardly ever inside my purse. Of course, there are those days when umbrellas are completely useless, when the rain seems to be falling from the ground instead of the sky.
Normally, I love rain. I find it comforting and soothing. It feels amazing running in the rain. On purpose. Not when you to have ride a train an hour plus back to Jersey in soaked work clothes. I hate rain in New York. It makes it uncomfortable to walk anywhere, so it stifles most plans. Outdoor events get canceled. Strange men hawk umbrellas to you. Lakes cleverly disguise themselves as puddles.
I have a friend from New York who loves the smell of wet cement because it reminds him of home. Rain only reminds me of home when it smells like trees and wind. I remember one time I was doing yoga in my tree-filled backyard one day and just as I was relaxing in my final pose I heard the rush of rain approaching and suddenly I could smell our magnolia tree intensely. It was kind of magical. In New York, rain is not so magical. But it is still New York, which this small town girl still finds magical.