Friday, September 30, 2011

Start Spreading the News...

It is true today as it was in the late 1800’s when European immigrants flocked to America - New York City has been and still remains the city of dreams for many people. It’s the strongest symbolism of America the entire world recognizes. The city reeks of money being churned everyday in those skyscrapers, in the hotdog stands, from the travelers, by the tired commuters in the subway, by the men in suits in Wall Street.

I step out of Penn Station into the sunlight and immediately, I get this undeniably unique rush. There is still nothing quite like it. I pause for a second, all my senses coming alive simultaneously, and inhale it all in.

I am in New York City.

The sun was shining and all around was the endless bustle of people, the tourists quickly identifiable by the cameras strapped around their necks and maps and/or travel guides in their hands. Back here to visit after one year, it is amazing how the Big Apple seems to never quiet down and how it feels exactly the same. How is that possible?

NYC's prominence is as much a blessing as it is a curse. Perhaps this same power served as a bull's eye on its forehead for terrorism, both executed and foiled (it was interesting that I was in Times Square the night of the foiled car bombing last spring). We happened to be there on the weekend of the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and there was palpable poignancy in that alone. Battery Park was converted into a memorial of sorts and there was an American flag planted on the ground for each life lost that day a decade ago. It is sad to be reminded how many of these innocent people got slaughtered, and yet it reminds us of how precious human liberty is and how much of our enjoyment of our current freedoms we owe to those who fight for it in the battlefield.

They say New York City is the city of dreams. But they are only dreams that our human minds are capable of imagining. They are the dreams built in and from this world, imaginings that are conceivable only within the frameworks and constructs of our limited human minds. This dream of the race in no longer for me. There is none of that stirring in me. While I feel privileged to walk its streets, I feel distant and separate from it. It has no power over me. Oddly, it reminded me of who I once was or thought I wanted to be, but like a drunk coming out of stupor, I understand with perfect clarity that the real me does not want what this City promises. I am amused and entertained by it, but not enough to lure me in. No apologies, I don’t want to be part of it – New York, New York….

And for that, I am happy.

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