@postaday 169; @postaday2011.
Visitors always see the vibrancy of their surroundings. Not just that of the foliage, the advertising and marketing, not just that of the food and the birds and the lights, but that of the people we visit and the strangers we encounter.
Tonight as we ride a subway from the Natural History Museum to Penn Station, a gentleman got on and played the bongos. It went well with the rockin’ and rollin’ of the subterranean train sliding in it’s tube. He then passed his hat and wished us all love.
We got hustled on Times Square for lunch, and we knew it. Those food hawkers are relentless. Stuck in a truck and screaming for our attention.
What I loved so much was the buildings, all different, a strange mix of new and old, tall, short, glass, metal, bricks and mortar. Of course, it’s the people they contain that these structures represent. Unique, quirky, sophisticated, transparent, comforting, fierce, cold.
Secret roof-top gardens on some of these structures betray that some level of nurturing tenderness has taken root. This New York City is America’s ‘tough-love’ big sister. She loves us all. We were walking along 8th Avenue when we encountered a fire department getting ready to roll. I stood with the fireman who blocked the sidewalk for a quick pic. Told him where I was from and the aloha poured between us. NYC has a lot in common with Hawaii, starting with aloha.
Having grown up in NYC (born in Brooklyn, grew up in Staten Island until I was 16) my feelings towards Metropolis, Gotham City, The Big Apple were biased. Although I admired its wonders, mostly from a distance, I avoided its darkness (never show fear). As a youngster, from about the age of 13, my friends and I regularly ventured into “the city” (as the locals from the other boroughs refer to Manhattan) for school projects (UN, Museum of Natural History), visit the music stores (Manny’s and Sam Ash) and admire the fine looking women in Times Square. Staten Island Rapid Transit (SIRT) to the Ferry, to 7th Avenue subway. We stayed in that midtown swath, avoided the less travelled paths, and never appreciated the “touristy” things. If it hadn’t been for a school trip in teh 8th grade, I would have never been to the Statue of Liberty.
I January I had the chance to go back to “the city” to play a gig…Lower East Side…I had never been to the LES. I rode the train from Tren’n to NYC Penn Station. When I got off the NJT train, I smelled the urine and said to myself “Self, you are home”. I walked to 6th Avenue (oops, Avenue of the Americas), and took the subway from Herald Square to 2nd Avenue. I loved it. I had never appreaciated “the city” at night. I never really looked at the Empire State Building up close at night until that night just a few months ago.
I felt comfortable, like I (still) belonged there. Even riding the subway, at night, with my cajon and percussion bag. Was I vigilant? You betcha. Was I fearful. No.
Continue writing about my hometown … I love it.
I love looking at architecture in other states. Except for the historic homes and buildings, architecture in Hawaii sucks.