“Here is New York”

by agoodnow

E.B. White wrote an essay on New York City entitled “Here is New York”

It could possibly be the best sample of writing I have ever come across. 

“Although New York often imparts a feeling of great forlornness or forsakenness, it seldom seems dead or unresourceful; and you always feel that either by shifting your location ten blocks or by reducing your fortune by five dollars you can experience rejuvenation.”

It was written in 1948 and it is amazing how much the city has changed and, all the while, is the exact same place.

In typical Andrew fashion I thought it would be a sin to read the book (it is only 56 pages) anywhere other than a bench along 5th Avenue.  I was right, it felt perfect. 

Soaking in New York from August of 1948 while watching New York 2010 simultaneously.  It was a different brand of nostalgia.  A  perspective I did not expect.

I finished the book and enjoyed my view on that bench for a few moments.  I enjoyed the crisp September air.  I watched as tourists strolled by, as runners embarked up their nightly loop of the Park, and as people wandered home after a long day of service to their employer.

Then I got up and walked across the street.  I was calm.  Relaxed.  At peace. 

It was the first time I had felt that way in an amount of days that could probably turn into months and months.

I saw a pack of men, presumably businessmen, walking down 5th Ave.  Not paying much attention to it or thinking anything of them I started walking in front of them.  SUDDENLY a hand was put out and one of them was blocking my path.  Two men then went to their belts showing that they were carrying what looked to be automatic handguns.  Quickly a man came up to me and said, “Thank you for stopping” in a European accent.  Sure enough it was a head of state in New York for the UN summit who wanted to walk down 5th Ave.

Nowhere else in the world would that happen and the timing was impeccable.