Friday, October 03, 2008

New York State of Mind

Days like today I have flash-backs to a former life that seems so distant. I feel like I have many former lives...No! I'm not suffering from multiple personality disorder or talking about re-incarnation here. I'm harping on about occupying a different world and reality for a moment in the seemingly distant past. There was the Southern African life, Mass life, (harrowing) London Life, Ghana life and of course the New York life. I think my love affair with New York started from around the age of 5 years old. For most of the mid-80's my Dad constantly listened to Simon and Garfunkel over and over again..for some reason. I guess images of a New York I never knew were subliminally imprinted on my brain. So when I finally got to discover the real New York as a fresh undergrad, I was extremely disappointed! It was noisy, big, dirty, unfriendly and the people were obnoxious. So after 4 years in a quaint, small town tucked away in semi-rural Massachusetts, landing a job in New York was met with fear more than excitement. Things got much worse.. my new roommates and I spent 4 days walking around Queens in the hot sun trying to find an apartment to live in and all we were shown were matchboxes under train bridges...if we were lucky! I swore there and then that I would never like the city. Then we settled into our place on Steinway street in Queens and suddenly it became the city I love the most. NYC never truly sleeps, there is th 24 hour subway, Harlem, Times Square, Brooklyn, the cheap restaurants, interesting freaks, beautiful parks, hot dog stands, bagels, comedy clubs, poetry james, celebrity sightings and of course Chinatown. Indeed, New York is actually a state of mind, freedom and adventure. But it was not all bliss...the negative sides were crime, high rent, scary freaks, the sad state of the homeless, the rundown neighbourhoods, the high prices and of course after September 2001, everything changed but we won't get into that. Despite it all, I will for ever have a New York State of mind


nando said...

Hey Abby, and I was blessed that you took care of me while I was there and we could share some moments there. Thank for the time there. I will allways remember the P Poetry Cafe. One guy aked me if I come from texas because of my german accent...
But sometimes I felt that the buildings where so big and as a human beeing I felt small. I remember one day as I went out (alone) to see the tourist spots (Empire State B.) in Manhatten that there was no place to rest. I was exhausted after walking around and couldn't find a bench to rest. I had to walk to the Central Park to have a break. Then I realized this city was not made to make a pause. But you made me feel comfortable everywhere.
Nice block sister :)

Abby said...

Thanks Nando!!! It was lovely having you in the big NYC...I know what you mean about the city not really being relaxation friendly.I remember that guy who asked if you were from Texas! That was really funny :)
Hope to see you and the whole family in Ghana soon!