Monday, November 8, 2010

King-Kong Syndrome

My Niece, in full attack mode
For just about a little over a month I have been living in Easton, PA with my brother, his wife and his three year old daughter.  Over the summer, during a far more hectic and shall we say...difficult time, I spent three weeks here just to get out of New York City, which had become a mental nuisance for me.  I really enjoyed myself here.  I missed having a lawn, seeing trees, being in a living situation that had more than three rooms, and non-city life in general.  I grew up in Staten Island, NY (don't hold that against me), which while technically is part of the New York city, it is not part of the city (for my out-of-town readers, "the city" is really Manhattan in local speak).  This means there are actual houses with actual lawns and actual backyards, etc.  Moreover, each summer of my life I spent in the woods.  My family would leave for the Poconos the day after baseball ended and come back to the city the day before school started.  For these two to three months I was let loose in the woods.  Essentially, growing up I never really considered myself a "city person" per se.  Sure I had more New York City experience than most of the world, and my parents paid the same taxes as those people who lived in "the city"...but that place was for the rich...not for people like me.  I was a simpler person, who appreciated nature, a sunset, and walking barefoot in grass.

That Sunset - tonight
It never hit me, until now, just how much the city has become a part of me.  I love having things within walking distance.  I love that I can get anywhere no matter what at all times.  I can get anything I want at any time.  Walking around the city this past summer, I seriously doubted how I felt about the city because a lot of the places I would walk by brought up memories I did not want to remember (see this post) and some still do.  However, tonight, while sitting in my brothers den watching an orangey-pink sunset out over the backyard I realized just how much I actually miss being in the city.  People always say New York City has a particular energy you can't get anywhere else...I always dismissed this as some uptight New York grandstander trying to be overly poetic...but it's true.  I have never been to Chicago, or downtown L.A. or D.C. or any of the other great American cities...but I imagine it could be true of them as well.  Indeed, I have been to Munich, Venice, and Dublin (Dublin being the most similar to NYC) and while they were absolutely wonderful in their own ways, they did not give me the feeling that NYC gives I would need to feel it for myself to believe it is anywhere but NYC.  

I never saw myself as becoming one of those people, who lived in that city.  But I am.  I have to live in New York City, or at least right near it with access to it every day.  I truly love it.  I have lived in Queens, Harlem, Union Square, Wall Street, Staten Island and who knows where to next.  But when I get there, if it's in the City, I will feel at home.

Here are some pictures of the City (Please inform me if they don't work).

New York City's version of that Sunset - Chelsea

Harlem...believe it or not

Outside my Harlem front door

Bryant Park at lunch time

Bryant Park - at liquid lunch time

My building on Wall Street - I will be back someday
(yes, those are fake people, this is a mock-up)

View overlooking Union Square