Some people say that they’re done with listening to Empire State of Mind. Those people aren’t New Yorkers. I’m not a New Yorker either, technically. I think the saying goes that you need to spend 10 years here before you can call yourself a New Yorker. Those born and bred New Yorkers say that you have to be born and bred here to call yourself a New Yorker. Those of us who ran away to the Big City from places like Toledo, Ohio say I’m here and goddamnit I’m a New Yorker. It’s for people like me that songs like Empire State of Mind and Sinatra’s New York, New York or the Beastie Boys No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn that never get old. In fact, Wikipedia has over 100 songs about New York listed.
I’m back in New York and it honestly feels like home to me. This is where I’m supposed to be and this is where I want to be forever. I was talking to an old high school friend on the phone a few moments ago. She’s back in Toledo; married with two kids and in talking to her I had one of those “Holy Shit I live in New York Moments” I have them all the time. Walking through the Union Square Farmer’s Market in the middle of spring with all of the vendors and stalls bustling and the fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, and flowers in every imaginable color. The artists and vendors with their wares, the Pet Adoption folks with dogs and cats in metal kennels. The world is whirling around you in a dizzying wave of people, faces, places and I stop and let the world buzz with life around me-while getting shoved because I’m inevitably in someone’s way and I think “Holy Shit I live in New York!”
So for you readers who don’t have the priviledge of living in New York and may be sick of hearing Jay-Z and Alicia belt out that song for the hundredth time on your FM Radio-Here’s my city
That’s the Chrysler Building-Not to be confused with the Empire State Building. One of my first trips to NYC from Greenwich, Connecticut where I lived the first 9 months of being on the East Coast I went here thinking I was at the Empire State Building. I was surprised to walk right into the building with no line. I was told by the front desk gentleman that the building I was looking for was a little more uptown.
This is the Brooklyn Bridge. It’ the oldest and most visited bridge in NYC. It’s a pain in the ass to ride over if you’re on a bike-especially in the summer because it’s over-run with tourists who don’t observe to clearly marked bike lane. Still, it’s a beautiful bridge and my breath catches every time I see it.
Ahhh, Central Park. I make a point to not visit Central Park below 100th. The tourist tend to get really frightened about what happens above 100th Street and for the most part the park is virtually free of tourists and filled with New Yorkers escaping the them. That’s not to say that New Yorkers don’t visit the Great Lawn in the summer to get some sun like the rest of ’em. I’m just not one of them. I’ve never been to the Great Lawn and I have no clue, actually, where it is. I work on 50th street which means that if I walk fast and keep my elbows ready for a jab on 5th Ave I can make it to the Park in about 10 minutes to spend my spring and summer lunch breaks here on this bench where I took this picture. It’s the perfect 40 minutes of blissful pseudo nature and quiet.
Move over St. Patricks’ Cathedral-This is the Church of Saint John the Divine. The largest Anglican Cathedral in North America and it’s just up on 110th Street. It recently re-opened after a devastating fire and is the most beautiful gothic cathedral I’ve been in. It rivals St. Pat’s and has less tourists. If you’re in the City and you’re into churches then you have to check this one out.
Ahh, the Lower East Side. This is right outside of the Tenemant Museum. I love the LES. It get’s annoying, especially the warmer months when the hipster kids, punk kids, and kids from Jersey try to get their “cool” on but it’s home to my favorite Babeland location, Blue Stockings Book Store (feminist, queerish, independent and all-around badass) as well as some great food and cheap divey bars.
Alright. I think I’m done-for now. I just bought myself a new camera for Christmas and I’m dying to use it. Enjoy the last few days of 2009!