New York City is an unattainable goal. It keeps me at arms length. I have traversed through its guts a hundred times over, I have crawled in and out of its rigid grid ribs – but nevertheless, it becomes a glimmer in my eye and a wave goodbye to this fair city.
Always in New York but never a “New Yorker.”
I know it better than some who have lived their whole lives in those glass-and-brick buildings. It’s a snap and a tease and once more I am back on that long island.
I will never know what it’s like to spend half of my paycheck on a closet-sized room in a shared apartment with exposed brick in the living room and a bathtub in the kitchen. I will never know what it’s like to lay in a park on “city grass” and stare up at a smoggy sky. I will never know what it’s like to love a man from the Lower East Side, or work in a corporate cubicle on Madison Avenue. I am missing out on boho wine cellars, Ethiopian eateries, community gardens, hand-stitched boutiques, music collectives and using the subway’s erratic scheduling conflicts as an excuse for being late to work.
Every other city in the world offers me respite. Even the city of sound New Delhi, or the crowded intersections of Tokyo, somehow relax and revive me. But Manhattan never lets me rest. Manhattan is an oasis of opportunity that disappears the moment I find my way. Manhattan keeps me coming back for more.