Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Love New York and All That Jazz


As a child I spent the summers in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn visiting my grandmother. In her one bedroom apartment, walking distance from Coney Island, my sister, my grandmother and I would bunk together in the living room. Almost the last stop on the F train, the dishes would rattle and the seventeenth floor shimmy as the nearby subway traveled the one and a half hour distance to and from Manhattan.

New York was the most different place from New Mexico I could conceive of as a child (as an adult as well). But I loved it. Sojourning into the city each day, my father would act as tour guide (as a relocated Bronx boy he claimed ultimate authority on everything New York). Worrying my sister and I would wander off, my dad made us memorize the entire F train route and study city maps.

Thus, I can navigate New York pretty well for a western girl reared on the Rio Grande. Recently vacationing there, I felt at home despite many years absence. A movie I saw in college came to mind. The Cruise, a black and white documentary, celebrated both the city itself as well as a quintessentially New York Gray Line Tour bus guide. In one scene, the guide, with an encyclopedic knowledge of New York culture, recalls literary giants, artists, politicos, criminals and silent movie stars as the bus whirs past their former residences. So much spark within such a small space. The energy is real; the buzz almost tangible.

I love New York. Therefore, you may imagine my excitement at a mention by the New York Public Library in an article entitled "All That Jazz". So thank you New York from a most grateful gal out west.

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13 comments:

cindy : quaint said...

i really enjoyed reading about your childhood experiences in nyc - the rattling dishes ;). huge congratulations to you on the nypl reference - that is a thrill!

heidi said...

Wow!!! great mention! My Dad who grew-up in Brooklyn as well, made me memorize the subway line starting when I was 15. It was a different world back then!

Jenn said...

You are making me miss the city! How fantastic to have so many strong memories of such a fun time. The area you used to spend time in is quite different now huh? The NYPL site does not seem to want to open for me so I'll come back later to actually read the article but at least want to say congratulations :)

LeaKarts said...

Fabulous new painting! I love your stories of New York, it reminds me of visiting my grandparents in Queens when I was a little girl. Congratulations on the mention, too!

Mary-Laure said...

I loved those memories, especially the part about you memorizing the F train stops!
I miss NYC sometimes.

Di Overton said...

That must have been one long journey. Lovely post

tangobaby said...

Wow! What a wonderful shout-out for you! You must be just tickled by that recognition! Good for you.

I must confess that my images of New York and Coney Island have been fully formed by watching Annie Hall way too many times. Even though my grandparents are from Brooklyn and I know all their stories, the scenes I see are from Woody's film childhood.

The Cruise is a quirky and entertaining film. I really enjoyed it.

Now, I'm off to read your rave reviews!

Hadley Gets Crafty said...

Oh! I'm so excited for you! I'll have to look up the article.

espionage said...

This. is. gorgeous.

petranek said...

You have some amazing work. We always visited New York when I was a kid too! Of course my dad still sounds like he lives there:) Your blog brought back some fond memories of my youth. Many of which we shared:) Keep up the wonderful work.

This Makes My Day said...

What a nice post about the wonderful city of New York! Your post animates me to visit NY soon, I never have been there before.

Nice image you made!

Leigh said...

I love this!!! and heart your work:)

Images with Personality said...

A great piece accompanied by such a delightful story from your childhood. Thank you for responding to my work. I admire your wonderfully unique approach to illustration.
Congratulations on the NYPL article!