It’s Up To You

Let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, I met a New Yorker who swore up and down that it was illegal to sing “New York, New York” within the boundaries of Manhattan.  I thought they were crazy.

I was a starry-eyed young wisp of a thing who could imagine nothing grander than to walk those very streets as my own.  To be able to point to a humble bodega and say, “That’s my bodega,” and to be on a first-name basis with the guy inside who’d wave as I walked by. 

I would walk past brownstones at twilight, watching the lamps switch on one at a time, casting shadows against the shades, thinking:  “I want to eat cheesecake at 3am!  I want to stand in Times Square in the middle of the night!  I want to wake up in the city that doesn’t sleep!”

Three years of hard work, shuffling around, scary decisions, scraping by, and last week I looked up from my walk home to see my local bodega guy waving to me as I walked by.  How did it feel?  It felt like I’m king of the hill!  Top of the heap!

And let me tell you, standing in my surprisingly spacious kitchen, leaning against the counter eating ice cream out of the container, boy did I feel like a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker.  Then I thought of that song:

These little town blues

Are melting away
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York

And if I can make it there
I’m gonna make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York

And I have to be honest, I did cry a little.  That’s why we can’t sing the song.  Rich or poor, young or old, native-born or dream-seekers like me:  it makes your NY heart soar and break and swell with pride.

(Especially when it means the Yankees have just won)

7 responses to “It’s Up To You”

  1. That song makes me tear up pretty much every time I hear it and I'm not even close to being from there! I can't imagine how good it is to hear as a new yorker ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Just thinking about the opening cymbal shot and those big, grandiose chords gets me every time. This was my dream, y'all. Just living here is nothing short of a dream come true. Every now and then you gotta throw props back to the Big Apple!

  2. Just started following your blog lady.
    Love it!!
    I've never been to NY so it's exciting to hear about how much you're loving it.
    Can't wait to read more ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lauren @ lemon trees and bumble bees

    • Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment! Now I get to see your wedding pictures ๐Ÿ™‚ That dress is AWESOME! Always great to meet a new blogger!

  3. If I never hear Frank Sinatra again, it will be too soon. Sorry, I'm a crank & was forced to listen to that song way too many times. It's nice to hear about it from somebody who likes it sincerely, though.

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