There’s really no getting around it
NY makes me feel a lot of things:
Im not sure how exactly it works, or if there’s a particular order but here’s a smattering, and this is not specific to this trip—but really to every trip, or the many years I spent living there:
1. Nostalgic – for the firsts that happened there, for the memories that happened there, for the life I lived at different times there, for the times I heard about but wasn’t yet born for (60s and 70s, 1880-1910s… etc)
2. Inspired – theater on the stage or on the subway/bus/street, the brilliant design and fascinating development of the city itself… the people, the people again
3. Excited – what could happen? Anything! (Like a kid in a candy store)
4. Full of curiosity and passion – so much to see, listen for, smell, so many experts, so many people with their own burning intensity
5. Connections with people both known and unknown
6. Fun—dancing, talking, walking, seeing, kissing, running, eating, pingpong
7. Lonely—it is a wonderful place to be alone, but it also a wonderful place to have a partner in crime, a best friend, a love of your life…
8. Something Extreme – in the last year the times I have been to NYC have had blizzards, crazy rain that shut down the subways, and A TORNADO (in Flatbush!)
Makes me think of the song my dad used to sing:
‘I have often walked down this street before
But the pavement never stayed beneath my feet before’
I spent quite a lot of time in the last 48 hours following my own tracks.
The tracks didn’t show, in many cases my sense memory outlasted the cement even… but it wasn’t the ground I came for I guess. It was the path. Or the memory. Or the signs that the distance between the past and the current path might give me…
From the 10 years ago place I felt proud and excited at being able to express myself better and with greater clarity and confidence than I had 10 years prior. The teacher I used to have ‘issues’ with sat across from me and we bounced ideas around about strategic planning for the future of the wonderful program that changed my life so much… then, on the station platform and Metro-North train along the Hudson I remembered how exactly I felt when I had sat sharing headphones, giggles and the pages of a journal with my best friend. Not surprisingly, I saw two teenage girls who looked just like Sarah and me.
From twenty years ago the way I felt in my first New York City cab ride. Nighttime. Sticking my head out the window. Just like the movies…
From seven years ago… On 10th Street and 1st avenue I remembered feeling like I might have met the person I was going to spend the rest of my life. We shared a passion for art and literature and theater and insatiable curiosity and romanticism and all the memories came flooding back of cold nights nearly running with excitement from the N/R on 8th Street across Lafayette and 3rd Ave, by St. Mark’s Book Shop, taking the Stuyvesant Place shortcut to 10th, and walking past 10th Street Lounge and the sushi place that took care of my fish once when the street was closed after the crane for the luxury high-rise above Theater for a New City fell…
From nine years ago… At DOJO I remembered being an 18 year-old who was so excited to find a place that had yummy, healthy food and beer and was cheap and didn’t card, even me…
From five years ago… I remember living on MacDougal Street and the adventures that living in that close proximity to so much that was exciting to me allowed for. Many early-morning walks home.
It goes on and on. The first play I saw at the Rattlestick, … Adam Rapp’s Faster, and how exciting that was, and to now, not so many years later, go see a play there and have the director and half of the actors and designers involved be good friends. The world moving closer? Or are we all expanding only to close some of the perceived gaps?
Clinton and Henry Streets in Brooklyn and the time I spent there. The funny realization that the memory of that time has now been altered and informed by my attachment to certain works of fiction and characters and their stories specific to those places—(Mingus Rude from Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude, Paul Auster, etc.)
One of my oldest friends in the world Nick and the funny way things both change so much and stay the same. Ping pong and Brooklyn forever.
I know the tracks from these times, these people are connected to the path now, and I know I love all the new stops and/or memory pegs added to the path this weekend. New touchstones, new paths from Union Square to 9th Street, new Israeli brunch places in Brooklyn, new unmarked dance halls hidden above unassuming restaurants, new orange, amber and red leaves falling, new ideas and seasons shared with old and older friends… and fortunately… new feelings.