Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NYC & Me

If cities in which I've lived were lovers, then I admit to a few these past twenty years. Of these, perhaps the most intense and enduring has been New York City. Our courtship has been a long one. We first met about seventeen years ago while I was in a relationship with San Diego, a calm and laid-back kind of lover. The contrasting energy of New York seemed to emanate from the pavement and was like electricity running through my body. Despite the attraction, NYCs fiery nature was also intimidating. Several years later we met again, when I was back together with San Diego after an intervening relationship with San Francisco. I almost committed then, but was lured by a perceived stability of several relationships with Texas cities. Then five years ago, I moved closer, to Long Island, which allowed NYC and me to see each other more frequently. Three years later the commitment was sealed when I moved to Brooklyn.

These years together we have danced together as only passionate lovers could, as I learned its history,
strengths, and weaknesses. Although there are few streets I have not walked, it continued to delight me with something new. When I have sought the beauty, it has been there: a beautiful sunset as the city lights come alive; a rose garden in the middle of downtown; the hues of autumn; and the purity of snow on the grayest concrete. When I have sought the ugliness, that, too, was apparent in the smells, the noise, the crowds, the poverty and despair. The moments of tested patience were tempered with the delight of something unexpected. Nothing that shines so bright can do so without its shadow. Regardless of my perceived mood, NYC never ceased to entertain me, on a subway or on the street, with buskers, brilliant dancers and musicians, and its people with outlandish clothing, behavior, and scams. The senses never rest and the wonder never ceases.

Yet something so dynamic and energetic has its secrets, and so often in relationship, one discovers herself in the reflection of the whole. How can something appearing so congenial and crowded feel so lonely and isolated? I have seen naked cowboys strumming guitars in Times Square and traveled every nation linguistically on a single subway ride. If I wanted a haircut at midnight or to shop for clothes after hours, if I wanted something delivered, or anything to satisfy my every need and appetite, it was readily available. When I was frustrated and lost, I saw a half-headless Cookie Monster taking a smoke break, and the absurdity of it all seemed to make sense at that point.

NYC is alive so I felt alive, by extension but not as myself. The overstimulation and assault on the
senses, so far from my self, started to take a toll. One learns and grows in a relationship, sensing, too, when the time has come to move on before the darkness settles in and hardens the heart. Perhaps I have been too spoiled, too satiated, and too stimulated, or perhaps the time is ripe for something new. Boredom rarely moves one to change as much as the heart's desire for peace. And so it goes, for now and not necessarily forever, with me and NYC. Our hearts and souls are full of love and memories.

Thank you all for reading these memories through the blog posts. Stay tuned for more adventures soon....