Friday, July 09, 2010

The Steaming Cathedral of Concrete

New York.

It’s like a hulking mass of cement and concrete and people. It dwarfs me and makes me feel small and inconsequential like only New York can. Seoul (for all its overlarge overripe coldness) is more open and inviting. It takes you in and welcomes you to the morning calm. You understand the calm with Seoul.

Chicago is your neighborhood. It is a party. It is the block. It is the people and the sites and sounds and tastes that you know. It is the lake that is always right there for you. Chicago is the warm handshake and the hug after so much time away. Chicago is a drive away to your heart's desire.

New York just doesn’t give a fuck.

New York has been there. New York has seen it. New York has done it. New York doesn’t care about you, or what you think of it, or whether you want to stay, or whether you want to return. New York has too much going on to worry about you and what you have going on. New York doesn’t really care how you are doing, making How YOU doing? the most perfect insult for New York.

New York is towering cement and time. It towers over you as you walk in it. You enter the subways, the hot, creepy-crawling miasmic sprawl of it and you feel it pouring over you. Get where you are going; do what you are doing. New York won’t wait. New York has things to do.

There is a sense of loneliness that over comes me as I enter this city. I feel more alone than I have ever felt in a city. I clutch at my bag and backpack as anchors to hold me down, to make me real. I use my phone map, the twenty-first century replacement of the tourist map, to guide me where I am going. I feel like a sheltered farm girl wandering around the city that defines city. I think of how you could lose yourself in her if you wanted to be lost.

I don’t want to be lost.

I don’t know what I will find in this New York.

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