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.