When John and I lived in Martinique 'studying French', we watched the sunset every single night. We would race from class down to the water, and sit there on the rocky pier (topless!) while the big neon sun dropped below the horizon. Afterwards we would skinny dip in the turquoise waters so salty we could effortlessly float and bob around for hours. Alors! C'est magnifique!
We swore to each other then and there that we would continue the tradition when we got home, because, well, doesn't the sun set everywhere? Why couldn't we pause for forty minutes in Minnesota each night as did in the Caribbean? Well, we didn't. Not once. Evenings in Minnesota were instead filled with hot cocoa and sledding and rousing choruses of Um Ya Ya. (Not that I romanticize my college experience or anything.)
Thinking back on it, I said the same thing about tea-and-biscuit-time while living in London, and about only eating local foods while living in Tuscany. Neither of those lasted either. And perhaps that is the reason we travel. Because despite globalization and gentrification and the Internet and McDonalds opening at the Louvre in Paris, some experiences cannot be translated outside of their resting place.
But luckily... LUCKILY... I am once again living by water, and can see the sun drop into the East River each night from my apartment windows if I so chose. Perhaps I can finally fulfill my sunset goal.
I ran for my camera the other night to catch the almost-pink-it-was-so-orange sun falling quickly. But alas, by the time I was back at the window, it had just dropped out of sight. The after effect was nice though-- the orange sky and the blue water... the silhouette of Brooklyn's dirty windows there to the left. That splat almost forms a smile, though, if you're an optimist like I am. I will, however, save the skinny dipping for Martinique. Some experiences just shouldn't translate to the East River. Ew.