Everyone has it. For some, it’s a place. For others, a religion. Others, a sidewalk cafe. A cocktail. A best friend. A familiar painting. Or, a vice. For some, a dark place. For me, it’s a text. Specifically E.B. White’s Here is New York. You see, whatever it is; whatever happens in the city – small, large, flittering, scented, sterile, crushing, tragic, magic – that thing. E.B. White has somehow made sense of it, there, Here Is New York.
Recently, I moved – all of 2.2 miles. After 11 years in one Brooklyn neighborhood, I moved just over 11,000 feet to the north. For Brooklynites, for all New Yorkers really, who know we live and breathe by the people and services and sights on a single city block, we know that moving this far is just as well moving countries. Changing currencies. Time zones. Allegiances. But without the sympathy of the crowd. Because it is, after all, still New York.
However, as White wrote:
Although New York often imparts a feeling of great forlornness or forsakenness it seldom seems dead or unresourceul; and you always feel that either by shifting your location then blocks or by reducing your fortune by five dollars you can experience rejuvenation. Many people who have no real independence of spirt depend on the city’s tremendous variety and sources of excitement for spiritual sustenance and maintenance of moral. In the country there are a few chances of sudden rejuvenation – a shift in weather, perhaps, or something in the mail. But in New York, the chances are endless.
However I feel about this place: this strange land where the currency is ever so slightly foreign. This Brooklyn territory where sidewalk rules are askew just enough to make me relearn all walking patterns. However I feel, the chances are endless.