WELL hello Friday night! Crossing the threshold of my work out into the street I step into a winter wonderland.

There’s an explosion of sound and my eyes follow the crowd. Dodging in the crowd, a clearing finally opens up unveiling a drumline. Yes, just like the movie, only Spanish… and real!

Young adults and teenagers in schnazzy jazzy band uniforms are set up blasting us with beats. This makes me crack a smile. I turn around and almost knock over Mickey Mouse. Why wouldn’t he be standing behind me handing out balloon animals? 

In Plaza Nueva the trees are dripping with Christmas lights. Seriously. There are fancy strands of bulbs that create the illusion of dripping icicles. The trees are dripping. A daughter takes a photo of her parents. They are are backlit with the sparkling branches. 

Turning my attention towards my walk home, I’m faced with an intimidating crowd. Everyone is jammed into the shopping streets of Tetuán and Sierpes, maybe doing last minute shopping, maybe just hanging out trying to get some action rubbing up on everyone. Ew, gross.

I’m doing well in this obstacle; only knocking down a few little old ladies.

I almost falter when I see a charging boy. Reading his facial expression I would swear the end of the rainbow is behind me and he is rushing towards the pot of gold. The temptation is powerful, but I daren’t look away from my forward path lest I get swept into the crowd.

Moving at my accelerated pace in a dense crowd, like the one I find myself in, is not for amateurs. Years of practice walking in New York City has trained me for this night. I will focus my energy on advancing to my destination. Every step counts.

Cell phones ring, are you listening? In the stores, diamonds are glistening… l think, in hindsight, I should’ve ridden my bike… walking in a winter wonderland.