Gretchen Rubin

I love the feeling that something exciting is going on, even if it doesn’t affect me.

This sign is posted all over my neighborhood. The truly charming thing about it is that the sign’s words are printed in green, and there’s a faint green shamrock behind the words. Think of it: someone in the city bureaucracy actually took the time and effort to print the words in green. That’s the spirit!

This is one of the things that I love most about New York City—the sense that things are astir, that people are excited about some happening of which I know nothing.

I never thought much about St. Patrick’s Day in NYC until a few years ago, when I happened to walk down Second Avenue on the afternoon of the parade. It was jammed with people, with green and shamrocks and Irish flags everywhere. How had I never seen this before?

Last year, when I served on a jury, the policeman who was on the witness stand and the judge both wore green ties on March 17.

It’s like Fashion Week, or when the United Nations meets, or Chinese New Year, or when Wagner’s Ring cycle is at the Metropolitan Opera House. These events don't matter to me, but I love the feeling that something exciting is happening nearby. One day, who knows, maybe I’ll decide to show up, too.

Zoikes, there's a lot of great material at Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist blog. Talk about a happiness project -- she actually MOVED cities, from New York City to Madison, Wisconsin -- because the happiness research indicated that she'd be happier there.

I guess the pleasure of seeing the signs for the St. Patrick's Day Parade wasn't quite enough to keep her here.

Her explanation of why she moved, and the happiness data she drew on, is fascinating.

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