Thursday, July 1, 2010
The People - YES!
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of New York City living is the people in all their marvelous and bewildering variety. Because there are so many of them, you really do get to witness a pretty full range of human behavior, from the man with tattoos covering every part of his body to the woman who literally carries a small kitchen sink in her handbag to the dude who brings his surfboard with him on the subway en route to the fabulous waves of Long Island Sound. Almost every day you see someone who in action, appearance, speech or vocation startles you just enough to make you look and forget about yourself for at least a few moments. All this seems very healthy to me and a reminder as well that just when you think you've seen it all, somebody comes along to upset that presumption. New Yorkers are cynical, frustrated, angry, loud, and demanding, but they seem to me to be among the least complacent people in the world. They know that something they have have never seen before is just around the corner and thus their aliveness to the unexpected gives them a kind of grounded hope that keeps them alert to each day's possibilities.