I happen to be researching some info on NYC for my book. As I go through the pages of the books I took out of the library and the DVD I just viewed, I can’t fathom being able to understand all there is about the city.
Without a doubt, it is the most interesting of places to be. As they say: “There is New York City, and everywhere else.” I’ve been to London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, Florence, and Montreal, all over Ireland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, not to mention Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego and a host of lesser-sized cities. New York still feels the largest, in height, and vitality. The people move about with great haste, the traffic, always present, offer the life and future of the great metropolis.
When I graduated college, I went straight to the Big Apple for my first job. I sat high up on the 34th floor on Lexington Avenue; surveying Gotham from the corner office, I was in. I recall looking uptown along Lexington Avenue, watching the flow of traffic and comparing it to a blood stream of a human being. The traffic pulsed along the streets, the traffic lights giving it an interrupted flow, like a slow pulse, that would never die, or maybe a dance that made you change rhythm back and forth.
I remember the elegance among the ordinary, the beauty and the ugliness that made the city what it is. The professional atmosphere and the glamour that it promised excited me.
Everyone had a job; everyone seemed to be going somewhere, everyone seemed important. The doormen, the high fashion stores, the landmarks, the taxi horns and the roar of the big delivery trucks, double-parked and no one seemed to mind. The women were fashionably dressed, and the men wore their suits and ties, school aged children walking to school in their school uniforms.
The city towered over me, the buildings keeping one in constant shadows or perpetual sunlight. The smells of the restaurants, igniting my senses as I hailed a cab, or walked to another office on business made a statement. The large austere banks, seemingly swallowing you up in their business attitudes and solemnity of business and finance made you feel small and inadequate.
If you dared to venture down into the subways, you would notice the humidity that lingered long after a humid day, the crashing rattle and rumble of an arriving train, that took you into darkness, and then magicly into another world. The people, speaking in languages you could at times understand, and at times left you wondering.
There was something for everyone! You wanted a simple meal or a gourmet feast, just crossed a street or went next door. Some of the streets ironically were tree-lined, most were not. Lobbies in skyscrapers all had their own identity. Newsstands offered; newspapers or magazines, snacks, gum and cigarettes, you were always supplied.
Business mixed with finance, which mixed with residential neighborhoods. New York City offered a historical lesson, everywhere you looked, and everyone ignored it.
The many costumes people wore from native lands they arrived from, paraded up and down the broad canyons of city life. If you were from another land, or were not, New York City was home to you. Somewhere there was a bastion or enclave of comfort that made the great city; and could be called home for anyone.