Cerebrum Winter 2021

The New Science of

IN MORE NORMAL TIMES, THE WINTER commute from northern New Jersey to Manhattan often involves standing in near-freezing temperatures to wait for the bus, which is often late and almost always out of seats during rush hour. Upon arriving at NewYork’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, you wait your turn for the escalator and then march alongside fellow commuters toward the doors that empty out into the streets of Times Square. If you walk east, you’ll reach Bryant Park, a ten-acre respite from the sky- scrapers that tower around it. This time of year, a holiday market lines the peri- meter, and an ice-skating rink spans the field where people sit in the sun during warmer months. The stress and anxiety of the commute does not disappear completely—you’re still in Midtown, after all—but walking among the London Plane trees throughout the park never fails to take the edge off and add calm to the monotonous trip. B Y S E I M I R U R U P



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