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.