Yesterday, I read the world famous E.B White’s “Here is New York City” from 1948. Embarrassingly, Inever read it. Thoughts: wow, stupendous and amazing. I was moved to tears reading a snapshot in time that captured the city as it was then and as it is now. EB White, like any New Yorker who has left and come back or is getting older in the city, lamented what’s changed. He went through his “didn’t this used to be….?” moments but also captured the essence of the city. The fact is, as much as we think the city changes, it’s character does not. The feelings are never “new” What makes it what it is, is universal and eternal. It is a city that has rules – you must tolerate, you must accept, you must play by the rules.
Oh its not without flaws, its a complete and total pain in the ass, but in its pain it brings out the energy. Think of it this way…. if movement of atoms generates heat and energy, then it would make sense the people living and moving in the same space would generate that same heat and energy. The laws of physics and chemistry are universal. They should apply to humans as well as atoms? The closer our bonds are the more opportunities there are to connect, to create new molecules of thoughts and ideas. That is what the city does. Its is the primordial ooze of thought. It is the vastness of space before the big bang. Things coalesce here. Things stick together. New things happen here. New planets are formed in the shape of neighborhoods, new systems are formed in the shape of art, music and science.
We live for new. We create. We destroy and if we are old enough, we lament what was for just a minute. If we can stand it, we stay in the city, if we can’t we leave and a new fresh faced buck comes in. New York is a live animal, an evolving and a never ending drama.