Sunday, May 23, 2010


Alot of the time was spent staring, I mean, really looking up into the sky at steel and glass buildings where once was the old Auto shop, Untitled, the little Italian restaurant where RK and i went on a date, Grand Street Art Supplies shop, M&R, Evergreen Video, and a billion other old places with memories that existed in those brick walls, tin ceilings and old wood floors you just tore out of there.  At one point, as I was strolling down some seemingly soulless block, large plate glass and silver frames,  I thought to myself  oh my god, if i hadn't moved away, this never would have happened!   {When I recount this feeling to a friend she laughs, totally relating to a similarly lofty action/re-action scenario, which makes me feel all the better for this completely irrational thought process...}

But I also decide to spend my time,  really quite determined, not just in looking for, but actually finding the NYC I remember, even if I have to break thru the steel and glass facades and tear back the wallpaper, maybe scratch a little sheet-rock, just to confirm that old new york I fell so madly in love with (and never really got over) is still there. 

And I totally do.

I found the old shop keepers I knew, in the shops still standing, all with a good bit of time to talk.  I found new shop keepers, with such engaging warmth,  it felt like they'd been here a long time.

I looked for my old city, my old friend. I looked for the familiar, while recognizing some really beautiful new.

Lucky me, I found so much.

I end up feeling like I never left in the first place.  I stay in my old neighborhood, I go to my old shops.  I even stop in the old post office and see my postman, David.  We reminisce about the past and talk about how much has changed.  I end up having this conversation, almost verbatim,  with everyone I bump into or newly befriend:  the elderly woman getting a manicure next to us, the Jamaican cab driver who's off duty, the librarian.  Turns out, it's nice to know you're not the only one.

And still, each one of us could find something we still truly loved about this great city.  Something that hadn't left here yet.  Something that had stayed the course of time.

And some even could fight the good fight for the 'good side of change', the positive change in the city, like The Highline.  It's a new twist on New York's motto for growth: no room?  just keep building upwards.

Something built on top of something else?
There's beauty in even that chaos.


Marion Williams-Bennett said...

I was remembering the last time you returned to New York, and how in your writing and your photos there was for this city. Such a celebration.

And this return trip, it feels like all that love is still there, and though I hear how you miss this city, it feels like this trip there is more peace with that part of it. Still a great celebration.

Anyway, thanks for bringing us along! Enjoy!

meseke said...

Well said. Great pics! Miss you.