‘Manhattan’s sinking like a rock
Into the filthy Hudson
What a shock
They wrote a book about it
They said it was like Ancient Rome’
Ten years ago, I listened to Lou Reed’s New York over and over. He spat out lyrics about pre-Giuliani Manhattan and scared the bejesus out of me. He also made me want to live nowhere else.
Crossing the bridge this morning, I realized he got it wrong. On a sunny day, Manhattan rises from the East River like lost Atlantis. It shimmers, it’s impossibly glamorous, and I love it like a person. Even though I spend all day fretting about my taxes and plodding through a death-march project at work, I found myself skipping uncontrollably as I walked down to 23rd Street for lunch. It was provoked by the bebop playing loudly at the street vendor’s table next to the office. Every few steps, my right foot would shuffle into a small hop. I tried to disguise it as a peculiar limp, but no—definitely skipping. This hasn’t been cute on me for about 27 years, but there it was, nonetheless.
I can’t resist my city in spring.