The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.
There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?
The darker side of the City tried to emphasize the selfish parts of me by encouraging my sense of entitlement and my desire for personal space. But God seemed to whisper that the alternative existed: to let Him grow humility and concern for others in a way I had never experienced, to live out His peace amid whirling chaos. (p.67)
But I stayed up thinking about how I've been lying to him, no less than I lie to myself in my pre-sleep ritual. And I lied to him again just as we were growing more intimate than ever and he asked me about my scar.
He clearly suffers from some past traumas too, so hopefully he'll understand why I was untruthful to him about mine.
Adding to my emotional dizziness on Sunday, I spoke with my sister, who kept noting how amazing Michael is, and what a brave and selfless man he is for having helped as he did.
But then, as I looked in the mirror, I became fixated on some hairs near my carotid artery that were still there. I pushed the blade deep against my neck to shave them off, and then blood squirted out.
A few minutes later, my eyes began to feel a bit droopy, but I vaguely noticed that Anissa was whispering something.
The lead-up to the moment was magical in every respect, but a part of me was, and still is, uneasy about the whole thing for many reasons.
In addition to my new outlook on life, in some absurdly simple way, Anissa gave me several new reasons to live. Above all, I had to see her again and find out what, if anything, would happen between her and me.
But I did feel the vertigo of death’s invitation, beckoning me towards the dark waters below. Only a newfound perspective and desire steadied my wavering soul. I came to realize, just in time, that suicide was far too easy – and obscenely cowardly – after someone I knew, not even half my age, had been through so much worse and still marched gloriously on.
She was somehow this damaged creature I had fortuitously encountered along my path and now cared about as a result. Granted, I didn't cause her harm, as I did with Icarus, but I somehow began to feel responsible for her welfare.
New York! I say New York, let black blood flow into your blood.Let it wash the rust from your steel joints, like an oil of life Let it give your bridges the curve of hips and supple vines. Now the ancient age returns, unity is restored, The recociliation of the Lion and Bull and Tree Idea links to action, the ear to the heart, sign to meaning. See your rivers stirring with musk alligators And sea cows with mirage eyes. No need to invent the Sirens. Just open your eyes to the April rainbow And your eyes, especially your ears, to God Who in one burst of saxophone laughter Created heaven and earth in six days, And on the seventh slept a deep Negro sleep.
My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.
The only credential the city asked was the boldness to dream. For those who did, it unlocked its gates and its treasures, not caring who they were or where they came from.
If everyone in New York took sides over these petty, insignificant arguments, no one would have any friends at all.
Manhattan in the morning is a living stream of Purpose; everyone's got a place to be and a problem on their mind. That doesn't mean it's and unfriendly place -- just busy and preoccupied. Personally, I love it. I'm a social creature but there are times and places you just don't want to do more than grunt at your fellow human being.
Funny thing about love, ain’t it? Sometimes it saves you and sometimes, like right then, even love isn’t enough.
I slowly lost any dream for myself. No one warned me of this, that the stars in New York can infect the light inside, that they can trap you in their shadow. Dylan was of course a star. He had achieved the thing we all came to New York wanting.
I visit you in my dreams and you talk to me in songs. Each sentence is a bridge taking me closer to the city that you are.
The vision that accompanied me on my drive was a girl, a lady actually. We had the same hair but she didn't look like me. She was in a camel coat and ankle boots. A dress under the coat was belted high on her waist. She carried various shopping bags from specialty stores and as she was walking, pausing at certain windows, her coat would fly back in the wind. Her boot heels tapped on the cobblestones. She had lovers and breakups, an analyst, a library, acquaintances she ran into on the street whose names she couldn't call to mind. She belonged to herself only. She had edges, boundaries, tastes, definition down to her eyelashes. And when she walked it was clear she knew where she was going.
While America will always, I think, feel foreign to me, New York City is my home. This is where I can construct my own identity freely and reject labels imposed on me.
And suddenly it came to him. That Strawberry Fields garden he'd come from, and the Freedom Tower he'd been thinking of: taken together, didn't they contain the two words that said it all about this city, the two words that really mattered? It seemed to him that they did. Two words: the one an invitation, the other an ideal, an adventure, a necessity. Imagine said the garden. Freedom said the tower. Imagine freedom. That was the spirit, the message of this city he loved. You really didn't need anything more. Dream it and do it. But first you must dream it.
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Rome and New York were impressive, but they knew they were. They had the beauty of a vain woman who had squeezed herself into her favourite dress after hours of careful self worship. There was a raw, feral beauty about this landscape that was totally unselfconscious but no less real...There was no pomp or vainty here; this was an innocent, natural beauty, the best kind, like a woman first thing in the morning, lit up by the sun streaming through a window, who doesn't quite believe it when you tell her how beautiful she is.
I had no concept of what life at the Chelsea Hotel would be like when we checked in, but I soon realized it was a tremendous stroke of luck to end up there. We could have had a fair-seized railroad flat in the East Village for what we were paying, but to dwell in this eccentric and damned hotel provided a sense of security as well as a stellar education. The goodwill that surrounded us was proof that the Fates were conspiring to help their enthusiastic children.
The first gang members who joined the military were known as the Hounds, a group of former New York gang members.
I wanted solitude, but a treasure like that didn't exist in the city. I only found silence in Central Park, still littered with people of course, but the only place that held moments of calm. I breathed in that wonderful silence as my pace finally slowed, and nature delighted my senses.
When I think of New York City, I think of all the girls, the Jewish girls, the Italian girls, the Irish, Polack, Chinese, German, Negro, Spanish, Russian girls, all on parade in the city. I don't know whether it's something special with me or whether every man in the city walks around with the same feeling inside him, but I feel as though I'm at a picnic in this city. I like to sit near the women in the theaters, the famous beauties who've taken six hours to get ready and look it. And the young girls at the football games, with the red cheeks, and when the warm weather comes, the girls in their summer dresses . . .
A middle finger is more New York than a corporate ambush. I bleed for my hometown, and I'd die for my fans.
Just like that. Gone forever. They will not grow old together. They will never live on a beach by the sea, their hair turned white, dancing in a living room to Billie Holiday or Nat Cole. They will not enter a New York club at midnight and show the poor hip-hop fools how to dance. They will not chuckle together over the endless folly of the world, its vanities and stupid ambitions. They will not hug each other in any chilly New York dawn. Oh, Mary Lou. My baby. My love.
Starshine’s greatest challenge is deciding whether a woman is too young to soothe or too old to shame. Handling the men is much easier. They may feign interest in figures and photos, but their underlying interest is for breasts and thighs. A generous smile often adds an extra zero to a check; an additional inch of exposed cleavage can clothe five Laotian children. The vast majority of these men do not expect to purchase Starshine’s favors. They are husbands, fathers, pillars of the community, the sort of upstanding middle-aged patriarchs who would rather castrate their libidos than compromise their reputations, and even if their three-digit donations could earn them a quickie with the canvasser, they would deny themselves the pleasure.