I’ve lived in New York my entire life. Even though I go to Florida often, New York is what I call home. Born and raised, you could say. I know many different versions of it too. There’s the one with star-studded concerts and celebrity sightings (which I’ve never really experienced). Then, of, course, there’s the multi-cultural city in which it’s impossible to pick out the biggest populating race. After all that, there’s my version. It’s not great, it’s not grand, it’s New York at its weakest.
I live in a middle/poor class neighborhood. We’re all a mix. I’ve never been shameful to announce that, but it did not bring tears of joy to my eyes when my friend asked if there was any gangs around my neighborhood. Not that that made me want to immediately move. But still, I took notice. The answer, my dear, is no. There are no “gangs” around my house. Unless your context of gangs is a group of rowdy people. Then maybe. But no one who goes around starting trouble (well, okay, that’s not true. But it’s nothing major or anything).
Over the years, I’ve watched people get dressed up to go to Manhattan and dress down to travel with the subway. All the while, I stay home, writing and eating. I’m not a fan of spontaneous dinners or riding out into the sunset for no apparent reason. But it’s wonderful, I think, that this city has so much to offer anyhow, whether I take it or not. There’s theaters, five-star restaurants, bars, you name it.
But all those things don’t equal MY version of New York. My little window of the city is quiet and not in the center of anything but Food Town and a laundromat. Not a bad thing, of course. I wouldn’t even want to live in Brooklyn, where the crime rate is scary. At least to me. I’m also ruling out Manhattan, mostly because it’s too busy. Yes, I like the busyness of New York, I just don’t want to be in the center of it.
In my pocket of the world, I’m not scared (well, rarely scared, but not often.) to go outside and walk to the pizza parlor. It’s not a place where I’m afraid to go outside in a mini skirt. There’s lots of families and it is a residential area. Not the richest place, perhaps, but great all the same. My only problem with it is that I’m slowly finding that I have a sort of outdoorsy streak to me, and the only remotely outdoorsy thing I do is sit on my lawn and think how much I want to be rock climbing right then.
I guess that’s all I wanted to say. Maybe I’ll write longer pieces in the future, but hopefully I’ll be rock climbing then, so I might not have time.
A few more days
A final Hi meeting
The local neighborhood bar has a quiet time between six and nine. It is a place that specializes in coffee, beer and seasonal menus. There is just enough of each for a satisfying snack and effective buzz. After the time when the laptop lids close and before the social gatherings start -- there is a sort of twilight*. Often this time is a fugitive ground rife with creative inspiration and meditative work -- of the kind that results in personal reward.*twilight may refer to civil, nautical or astronomical variety depending on your social or terrestrial condition
A man positions his mouse on the edge of his browser window. He clicks, holds and drags the viewport first left then right. The content of a video game promo micro site responds and adapts to the available space. To the man, this is more delightful than the game itself.
A man laboriously moves his piano down three levels onto the subway platform. Classic vocals and strided chords -- he played so well I swore he was blind. Oblivious to the heat on that August stage, he was most in touch with his audience -- whom he elevated with his music.
A woman should do exactly as she pleases no matter what a man may think.
As the Dalai Lama once said, "It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."
"No one understands me," she said. Her grandmother was silent for a minute. It seemed she was searching for an answer in the star speckled sky. "But no one understands anyone in this world, darling. We are all unique. It is what gives us a sense of wonder."