You catch Luke staring at the picture again, darting your hand out to try and grab his phone. “Why do you keep looking at that?” you ask him after playfully shoving at his arm. “I wasn’t even looking at the camera.”
The picture in question was one of you on the ferry that was heading towards the Statue of Liberty. A slight wind had picked up, causing some of your hair to blow into your face and Luke had said something funny (something you couldn’t even remember now) which is why you had a big smile. It wasn’t one of the worst candids you’ve ever seen of yourself, but it certainly wasn’t the best that Luke has ever taken.
Luke just shrugs, glancing at it once more before locking his phone and shoving it in the pocket of his jeans. “Think you look cute, that’s all,” he mumbles, throwing his arm around your shoulders as the taxi driver makes a sudden stop. The two of you have lived in Manhattan for almost two years now and Luke still isn’t used to the way New Yorkers drive, something you constantly tease him about whenever you get the chance to.
You lean your head on his shoulder and close your eyes, letting the sounds of traffic and the music from the radio turn into background noise as you focus on the gentle rise and fall of Luke’s shoulders as he breathes. His thumb softly rubs circles into your bicep, his stubble scratching against your scalp when he rests his chin on the top of your head.
“We’re almost there,” Luke whispers in your ear a few minutes later as he gently squeezes your arm to wake you up.
You sit up straight, nodding as you blink your eyes a couple times to clear your vision. You see crowds of tourists the closer you approach the Empire State Building, some wearing those cheesy “I <3 NY” shirts while others just have clunky cameras to take pictures of every skyscraper they see. Normally, you roll your eyes at these people; as a New Yorker yourself now, you can’t help but get a bit annoyed at how slow they are compared to everything else. But today, you were one of them.
“You know,” you begin, turning away from the window to look at Luke, taking his hand in yours as he looks at you. “It’s kind of weird. We’ve lived here for two years and we know all of the tourist attractions but we’ve never actually seen them. I’m kind of glad we’re doing this today.”
The taxi driver pulls over to the curb, thanking you when you hand him the money and get out of the car. “As long as we don’t have to take the stairs all the way up to the 86th floor, I am too,” Luke jokes, kissing the side of your head when you mockingly glare at him. “I am serious though, babe. If you force me to take the stairs, I’m not going.”
Image captured by @plattys1 of a man looking out at the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. The languid days of summer. #gettyimages #GettyImagesnews #nyc #ferry #reporter #realism #thislife #statenislandferry #onassignment #photojournalism #streetphotography #liberty #freedom #hat