The first thing you notice is the light pollution. From 50 miles out, burnt purple blots away the stars. There is a city on a hill and you are descending into it. The second thing you notice is how that makes you feel.

Flying into New York feels like resignment. To visitors, it is elation. But visitors do not fly into New York. They travel to it. They see it. They visit.

To New Yorkers, returning from outside means the start of a stopwatch. 

I land at this time. It takes me this long to get home. It takes me this long to sleep. It takes me this long to commute. How long will catching up on email take me? When is that thing due? Will I have time to tick tick tick tick tick tick tick.

The range of an AIM-7E missile is 28 miles. From twice that distance, I-95 light pollution hones in on its own airborne targets.

Are you flying into New York, or is New York flying into you?

(This post brought to you by vacation hangover. Bury my heart in the Rockies.)


AS RAKESTRAW | The personal site of Alex Rakestraw.