New York Is

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 11.48.39 AMNew York is a line at the airport taxi-stand, 50 people long, filled with strangers each going somewhere but incapable of considering the prospect of coordinating destinations with the somebodies around them.

New York is a special machine for fixing traffic lights, making its way down 7th Ave.

New York is two homeless people cuddling between a clean-looking sheet on the steps of a church. Fast asleep, at noon.

New York is a large glossy coated dog who represents his owner the way flashy cars do in other urban landscapes.

New York is a mother walking with her son in a stroller that is being pushed by another woman with darker skin.Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 12.03.31 PM

New York is an entire wall filled with beautiful doughy bagels, nonchalant in the normalcy of abundance.

New York is a group of construction workers watching the final minutes of a Knicks/Heat game through the floor length glass windows of a 24-hour sporting goods store.

New York is a woman crying on the sidewalk, suitcase at her side, looking for the hotel she knows she booked but which, clearly, no longer exists.

New York is a man doing pull-ups on the scaffolding of a beautiful old building on Wall Street.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 11.48.48 AMNew York is a Korean karaoke bar where four friends can escape in a tiny private room for two hours of throat-searing catharsis, unheard by and oblivious to the many thousands of people in the quarter mile around them.

New York is eye contact with a stranger who you wish you would talk to you but you know, never will.

New York is an elevator ride down from a cubicle into a world where any product of any type can be procured in the course of a lunch break.

New York is a woman dressed as a high-fashion superhero posing in the middle of the street, drawing her power from the diverted stream of pedestrians who make their way around her, the photographer, and the man shielding the camera from sun glare with a patch of corrugated cardboard.Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 11.49.00 AM

New York is a “telepresense” meeting where monitors stream a near-continuous panorama of life-size images of attendees in cities across the country sitting in rooms that are exact replicas of your own, small talking about the weather in Seattle.

New York is a free museum on a Friday night with art so good you want to tell a friend yet you’re glad you’re there alone.

New York is a ride on a clunky public bicycle that goes from awkward to elegant when you start pedaling like a penguin diving into the water.

New York is a night sky filled with lights of skyscrapers so high they are a near substitute for the stars that are smudged out by their artificial counterparts.Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 12.01.02 PM

New York is a subway announcement, too late to change course, and illegible anyway.

New York is a gay man utterly shattered by the superficial dating scene but unable, himself, to be with anyone less attractive or to date anyone without sleeping with them.

New York is a patch of sidewalk precisely cleaned by the building super, whose territory is clearly delineated like a freshly mowed lawn from the dirtier slabs littered with cigarette butts on either side of the property line.

New York is holding out for a better option when you’re rushing to pick up lunch and you find something great but its across the street.Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 12.03.05 PM

New York is an alternate universe where everything is almost the same as when you left it, but the furniture seems to have been rearranged.

New York is a $60 cab ride, a $4 coffee, and a $2 bagel.

New York is a bridge over water, city sounds muted and then drowned out completely by the rumble of a train passing by, creating a pocket of solitude where you can scream at the top of your lungs in joy or rage or ambiguous release and feel solitude in the multitude.


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