Monday, October 13, 2014

People and place: What we dream, remember, live and love

I have been in New York City for just 24 hours, and I’m already filled with this electric sense that one lifetime isn’t enough to see and learn everything I want to.
New York is a loaded city. It’s the American city. It’s the city that many television, film and literary writers seems to think is the only one that can contain all the sheer volume of human experience that they, as artists, need to express. No matter where in the United States you live, you know its boroughs, its accents, its stock characters, its history, its neighborhood acronyms, even some of its bakeries and delis and coffee shops, thanks to things like "Sex and the City," "Seinfeld" and "When Harry Met Sally."
New York is loaded for me, too, on a more personal level. I have family here, and their history (our history) is tied up in stories of Washington Square Park in the '70s; scarfing down meals off hospital trays at Columbia; blind dates on Broadway; and, on one memorable occasion, getting to use Donald Trump’s limo. Walking to my cousin’s apartment, I went past a block-long discount shop that used to be the famous Strand Bookstore. The apartment was her grandmother’s. She’s dating a guy whose father was an iron worker who topped off the World Trade Center. He’s at work as I’m writing this, topping off the new Freedom Tower. 

No comments: