There’s the town I was born in. The town I grew up in. But my home in my heart will always be New York City.
Growing up, I had a map of the subway system on my wall to remind me of my dream. Then, when I was 24, I moved to Queens (Forest Hills represent!) and again had a map of the subway on my wall…to help me find my way around.
I blame my father, for forcing me to watch West Side Story when I was 12. I cried at the ending. Not because of the tragic love story, but because of the final sequence showing all the doors. I fell in love with the closeness and the isolation. That was the New York I fell in love with: seedy, romantic, and just a bit dangerous.
New York is big enough for millions of dreamers. And millions more who visit. And millions more who can only dream of New York. But I doubt the dreamers love it as much as I do. Oh, it’s easy to love the posh shops and bright lights. Easy to love the solemn brownstones and towering churches. But I love every pile of garbage, every sketchy bodega, every tiny, cluttered apartment. Fire escapes and street vendors and diesel fumes. I love every unloveable inch of this bad urban beast. She’s just like me.