Salutations, Gentle Reader,
Alas, the Post of the Day has been sporadic lately! Please accept my apologies and my pledge to return to regular posts as soon as possible. As I was riding the D-Train down to Herald Square this morning, I saw three people in particular work their way onto the train at 145th Street and immediately thought, “Parents are visiting daughter.” Even with Billie Holiday singing into my ears, I could hear enough of their conversation to confirm my suspicion. The daughter was en route to work, and the ol’ P & M were en route to a day out and about Gotham. Their daughter, like me, has come to NYC to be who she can be here. For seven and a half years, I’ve been able to actually call New York home, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully explain its draw. I do know this: I am merely one of legions of people who have come to New York in search of…
I’ll allow you to end that last sentence.
Gentle Reader, in my mind I know that I’ll always be a New Yorker. Recently, I shared with you the struggle I’m having about remaining here or returning to NC. Interestingly, my family (including my ex-wife) have been the ones to say, “Come back.” None of my friends have said that. My friends, including the ones in NC, have all advised staying here. Maybe they “get” the truth of the first sentence of my professional bio:
When Milton Glaser designed the iconic I Love NY logo and ad campaign in 1977, he likely was unaware that he was capturing David “David!” Webb’s feelings, but he was.
Sometimes, I wish I didn’t love NY so much. In ways, life would likely be easier, but perhaps the apostle John had it right. As he was imprisoned on Patmos, he wrote of how restriction leads to freedom for the dedicated heart, mind, and soul. What I find in NYC is the simultaneous union of challenge and freedom, of responsibility and bon vivance, of distinguished culture and sheer bohemianism.
Gentle Reader, I’m at this point: I’ve told my family that I’m not ready to choose between staying here or returning to NC. I’ve moved my deadline to make my choice from May to June. Am I delaying the inevitable? I don’t think so. I’ve been tapped by my leaders at work to become a designated recruiter for the firm. I’ve begun dedicating more time to St. Luke’s, as it is in a period of transition in its parish administrator’s position. I’ve begun a specific program for personal growth. I continue to meet new people of intrigue. (May I confess that I had quite the ego boost Wednesday evening at Sommerlyn’s client & partner appreciation wine tasting? A very dapper agent from another brokerage approached and reminded me that we had met early last summer, when I brought a client to an apartment he had listed. I apologized for not recalling his name and complimented him on his own ability to recall. He smiled and said, “You’re quite a memorable person, David!.” Hmmmm, There’s a potential friendship and… Again, I’ll let you finish that last sentence!)
Gentle Reader, I’m going to close today’s post with a poem (or two), a link to the immortal Bobby Short singing at the Carlyle Hotel, offering his rendition of one of his signature songs: “I Happen to Like New York“, and my own Doppelganger, Billy Joel singing “New York State of Mind“.
Lunch Hour in New York
Trees, each with a shape,
However seldom noticed and related
To other shapes,
Sway in the wind
In Uptown Central Park
In early afternoon
In bright July.
Grass, green, with a fragrance,
With a softness,
Moves a little
And people are there on it or on benches.
It is lunch hour in New York;
The milk from containers, cool, is drunk,
The sandwiches and fruit are eaten;
The inertia feeling,
The full feeling, comes over the people
And they sit around and walk around
And lie around,
Their shapes in their clothing containing
Meaning in middle afternoon
In bright July.
I WAS asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon, lo! upsprang the aboriginal name!
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly, musical, self-sufficient;
I see that the word of my city is that word up there,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb, with tall and wonderful spires, 5
Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships—an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
Numberless crowded streets—high growths of iron, slender, strong, light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies;
Tide swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,
The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining islands, the heights, the villas,
The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d; 10
The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business—the houses of business of the ship-merchants, and money-brokers—the river-streets;
Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week;
The carts hauling goods—the manly race of drivers of horses—the brown-faced sailors;
The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft;
The winter snows, the sleigh-bells—the broken ice in the river, passing along, up or down, with the flood tide or ebb-tide; 15
The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d, beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes;
Trottoirs throng’d—vehicles—Broadway—the women—the shops and shows,
The parades, processions, bugles playing, flags flying, drums beating;
A million people—manners free and superb—open voices—hospitality—the most courageous and friendly young men;
The free city! no slaves! no owners of slaves! 20
The beautiful city, the city of hurried and sparkling waters! the city of spires and masts!
The city nested in bays! my city!
The city of such women, I am mad to be with them! I will return after death to be with them!
The city of such young men, I swear I cannot live happy, without I often go talk, walk, eat, drink, sleep, with them!
Remain calm, and speak well.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the planet and the future. Cause no suffering. Go Vegan!