I ❤️ NY…
Despite the ever-growing number of viruses knocking down people all over the city, NYC is very much alive. It feels like it is having a moment. The lights are up, the booze is flowing, merriment is being had to try to throttle back the impending dead of winter. Dry February is a phrase I hear often.
In fact, the recent issue of New York Magazine has on its cover an almost Alex Prager-like depiction of a bustling city street. Except, instead of one bright face lighting up the crowd, it’s a sea of what they describe as “luminaries.” While each of these individuals is no doubt deserving of a cover story, (well, at least, the seven that I recognized by face), it left me wondering -- my thoughts like pillow talk between Carrie Bradshaw and Larry David -- is there anything LESS New York than touting what makes an interesting New Yorker?
A NYC crosswalk flush with notorious New Yorkers is a clever and worthy visual, but post-pandemic, its effect feels flat. No disrespect to the superstar who came here with nothing but a dream and just won a Tony, but as far as reasons I love living in NY, the Super who has worked in my building for 32 years and who saves the day every time I see a cockroach deserves the glory too.
The pulse of NYC is strong because of its millions of people and their billions of mini moments and stories. It feels more tenuous when it defines itself by self-aggrandizing. Yes, it IS so amazing to be back in action – but, ugh, must we revert to circa-2000 it-lists? At this point, if you need Paul Rudd (no disrespect, I love you and need your dermo!) or other overhyped reasons to love NY, you just as quickly will find reasons to leave it. Casa This or That is just icing on a cake for those with a sweet tooth, but the kid in me insists that the city retains enormous flavor without it.
Are there extraordinary artists, designers and mega-restaurateurs who deserve rave reviews? Duh! Does that correlate with the reasons the rest of us proudly call ourselves New Yorkers? To quote my comedy icon, “Meh.”
Personally, I see this city like one ginormous, never-ending production, where everyone is simultaneously a star in their own right, and an extra for the guy standing next to him. It’s a simple fact that there isn’t enough time in the world to roll all the credits. Therein lies the magic.
And thus, the reasons I love New York: because the hullabaloo is vast and always shifting, because the constant noise outside my window is like metropolitan Adderall, stimulating and soothing me towards productivity, because even though I lose sleep over worry about the city, I sleep better knowing there’s something afoot in it. (Pure silence is terrifying.) Hats off to every single New Yorker who lives and loves and laughs and helps and argues and complains and banters and keeps our streets magically humming. Everyone in New York is the reason to live here. The reason to live in NY is everyone.
Happy Holidays to all!