Late Night New York Paean
Visiting New York City for the first time in seven years — longer than I lived here — has been an education all over again. It’s true about the olfactory sense being the strongest memory triggger. Stepping into the subway was like putting on a familiarly warm, wet, smelly sock. Of love.
It’s not just recognizing the buildings, but encountering a familiar scene and remembering very specific events that happened ten years ago.
“That’s where Pauls, Dave and I smoked clove cigarettes once. That restaurant used to be the Paris Commune, where I had two wonderful dinners with my mom. And that park is where I treated a kid I babysat to McDonald’s fries.”
And that was all at one corner on Bleecker and 7th Avenue. Layups and puking and making out and copping and buying vegetables and going to work, to class, to sleep, to Brooklyn.
Oh, I do love New York. But I’m glad I have an escape plan this time, and can enjoy it without the pressure of actually having to survive here. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll have to admire and respect New Yorkers for that feat from afar.