Monday, March 3, 2008

Oh How I Love NYC

Without NYC is there really any point to human existence?

NYC embodies the essences of humanity. Art museums, green spaces, wall street, graffiti, poetry, cafes, Metro Cards, sweet roasted peanuts, buildings of mirrored glass, yellow taxis, knee high boots, double decker tour buses, Juicy Coutre windows, gothic cathedrals, and the f word in 25 different languages.

This city is owned by students, playwrights, business men, tourists, artists, and rats, oh the rats. Gum spots splatter the pavement in Time Square, thousands of sticky carcasses once sloshing around in the wet mouths of children, adults, foreigners, now permanent black dots along the sidewalk.

But get me out of Time Square. That's the stuff of high school band trips.

Let me rest on the cold green benches in Bryant Park. A week ago starved models gathered at this park, yanking magnificent sewn fabric over their boney frame and intentionally-tousled hair.

Or let me run my hand down the frozen stone siding of Parson's School of Design, baffled by the gravity of creative minds fostered in this building.

In New York, I am part of everything. I am passed by hundreds of people with cell phones cocked between their shoulder and face. I am part of everything. Yet, among strangers I am part of nothing. I like the ying/yang of this metropolis.

A month ago Heath Ledger's life ended here.

As I stand in front of the Trump Towers a motorcade passes me. Security and flashing lights, this is obviously somebody important. A foreign diplomat? Trump himself? (It was actually Hillary Clinton, on her way to a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live)

I dine in an upscale restaurant in Pershing Square. It's near closing time, the guests filter out laughing off bottles of wine. From my booth I examine the impressive John Donnelly sculpture at the top of Grand Central Station. A healthy male figure enveloped in fabric reaches outward. Two smaller figures lay by his feet, a man preparing for combat, and a woman heavily contemplating the effect of men's hasty actions. I later found out these three figures were Mercury (God of commerce), Hermes (God of boundaries and interpretation), and Minerva (Goddess of many things, among them commerce and crafts).

And then snow falls. The city becomes quiet, with an occasional splash from passing taxis and the click of pedestrian lights, as they change from "Walk" to "Do Not Walk" and then back again.

There was much to think about. The failing war in Iraq, the democratic party destroying itself, the 16 year old who killed her family over some guy, never ending budget cuts at work, a new bed for Payton, losing weight, the pooling condensation at the bottom of my water glass.

Here I am nothing. Here I am everything.

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