I hate you, I love you. The clouds roll in and I picture myself snuggling up to a Cabernet. The puppy plays and the thunder rolls. I type the beginning of this in the note section of my phone, then delete it. It’s 7am, I sip my coffee and fail to stay awake. The puppy nibbles at my toes until the coffee reaches my eyelids. The drizzle sets in and I am fully unexcited for the day ahead.

What shoes do I wear? Can I bike, or do I subway? Where is my umbrella?

Then I step out and I’m ok. The drizzle acts as a minor respite from the smothering humidity of summer. The streets illuminate with the reflection of the city – the dancing pavement provided by precipitation.

I get lost in the thoughts of my childhood – the countless walks in the rain. As a downpour rolled in, I’d roll out. Grabbing my umbrella and my poodle, Molly, we’d stroll and stare at the world through a muddled lens. The water washing past our feet, our legs wet with what the umbrella could not shield, we’d watch new rivers rush towards the storm drains.

I remember the moment I fell in love with Times Square. On the high of having seen a Broadway show, I was greeted to a quiet plaza. The rain washed away the crowds, leaving just passersby and bringing in a new ground canvas. The light bounced off the billboards, onto the ground and into my retinas. Each flashing light heightened by its duplicated presence in the same plane as my feet.


I hear my stop called overhead. Sitting in the tunnels of the subway, I’d forgotten about the monsoon outside, blissfully remembering the good times until I hit the stairs. I look up and into my impending reality. Wetness. I hate you.

But then the clouds close. The smell of the rain still present, the troposphere now adorned with little lakes. Our feet avoid them, but our eyes navigate towards them. They show the tree tips, the building tops, the life above our normal field of vision. These mirrors of the street reflect a world often forgotten about.

Look closely, get closer. The ASMR surrounds you. All your senses tingling. I love you.

All images by Nicole Stankus


  • Nicole Stankus

    Designer | Writer | Urbanist

    Nicole's desire to expand and improve on the way people interact with one another and the city in which they live led her to study architecture during university. Seeing the world passionately and always seeking moments of urban ecstasy, Nicole aims to create better spaces for people across all realms of design.