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Thoughts that make me smile.

I just posted this as a comment on someone else's journal, but it is poignant enough for its own post.

On my way home from work this evening, I read the following quote on one of the MTA's posters on the subway.

"There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. […] Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion."

-- E.G. White in Here is New York

This quote really hit me. In many ways, he is right. I am the New Yorker who was born here... I've lived here my entire life. I guess you might count my four years in Syracuse as another city, but I don't. That was college... a sleep away camp that lasted for four years. I have never lived anywhere but New York City, and I don't forsee myself moving for years, if that.

Sometimes I do realize that I take my life here in this great city for granted. I accept the speed and the craziness and chaos as just life in New York, just like when Mr. White writes about the turbulence. I am accustomed to it, I know how to transverse it, to flow with it.

And it is the settlers... the visitors... it is them who cause me to open my eyes and see my city anew. By showing them my city, I see it all over again, and I fall in love with it again... and again... and again. I see their passions bringing them here, I watch them falling for the city, and I smile.

I love my city. I am proud to be one of its millions of anchors. And I love the settlers in my life who cause me to renew my passion for it.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
Amen brotha!
Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:47 am (UTC)
Exactly the same can be said of London.

I’m about to hit the 13th anniversary of me moving here, and I still regularly will find myself walking down a street or over a bridge, and struck by how much I love the city…
Jul. 22nd, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
I hope to be a settler soon!
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)
It is a quest of sorts.
What's funny is that I always think that the Big City is going to make it easier to find it when it makes it harder. Hence why it seems I'm only destined to handle NY in 2-3 year chunks.

Maybe I'll come back....who knows.
One thing is for certain....The city will always be there....and it's anchors.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Reading your take on it makes me want to come up and visit. Think I could find a native guide?
Jul. 23rd, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
If you (and your lovely one) ever make it up north, you have yourself a personal guide.

It would be good to see you.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Ummm, the thought of New York makes me smile for a few reasons...

Lolita, Thor and...YOU! :-) (lick)
Jul. 23rd, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
I thought I'd miss "Poetry in Motion" on the subways, but I do like these prose pieces they've been replacing it with... thanks for posting this. I definitely feel I identify as a "settler," despite only coming here from Long Island. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )