Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer in the (other) city

So in cleaning and going through all my things to pack up and streamline, I came across lots of stuff from last summer when I was in NYC. Among them, a flier I picked up that read,
to appear in the film adaptation of Toby Young's best seller
"How to Lose Friends and Alienate People"
I guess I thought I'd be especially good at this?

Additionally, I found a list of things to do (and I relay this verbatim):
  • manhattan/Bklyn bridge run
  • MoMA (Fridays free!)
  • naked guitar man-Times sq.
  • Rent!
  • Promenade
  • Strand bookstore (828 Broadway & 12th)
  • watch Ace Ventura
I shit you not, that last one was actually on there.

All this reminds me of my life there last summer, and makes me reminisce... *dream-wave-sequence music***

It's 60 degrees in June in Manhattan. I'm cold. I'm looking for the perfect NYC pigeon; but how to capture it in all its eloquent, dumb-struck filth? Ah, I've found him--the one that's paused mid-strut to take a shit. It smells like clove cigarettes; men in suits stroll back and forth in front of City Hall; a man reads loudly from his novel on the steps of a fountain in front of the U.S. court house. The unseasonable weather hints at what fall might be like here. I try to picture it. I think I like it.

Contrast the old-NY feeling of lower Manhattan with my other stomping grounds in Brooklyn:
If I were a poet, or a lyricist, I'd write a love-song for Bed-Stuy. The watermelon man at Throop and Macon says good morning--every morning--and he's there at the end of the day, too. I read about gentrification daily in the papers, but my daily route is like a scene straight out of Do the Right Thing-- people hanging out on their front stoops, occasionally breaking the fire hydrant and dancing in the high-pressure fountain they've created just to get a break from the heat. It's liquor store followed by bodega followed by salon followed by liquor store here. You can see in some of the faces a certain defeat, like they've just given up. Not like that other part of Brooklyn near the water--the type of place where people hold hands, where I once stumbled upon the (sorry, I know it's trite, but no other word better describes it) breathtaking NY skyline back lit by an ebbing sunset, and literally stopped in my tracks. It was one of those "wow!" moments where you look around for someone to say "Look at that!"to, but there's no one there. So you just have to remember it. It's like a secret moment shared with yourself. (Ok, so there's no such thing. You can't share something with...yourself. Reminds me of when a friend of mine told us she had a "pact" with herself, only to be told this makes no sense. You can't have a pact with just yourself. By very definition, a pact involves others. You've thereby made a decision, not a pact. She insists it's a pact. This is why I like her. But I digress...).

Ok, reminiscence over.

***dream-sequence music (Garth and Wayne-style)***

I have no savings after a summer in NY. But it was worth it if for no other reason than the feeling it gave me. It's the same one Carol, the overweight middle-aged letter carrier from Denver feels when she visits Paris for the first time. If you haven't seen Paris, je t'aime, you're missing out.

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