Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New York City, as usual

On the way home from the train station last night I took some time to observe my fellow Hamilton Heights residents. Most of them are Dominicans who like to spend their summer nights outside. Kids on bikes. Old men on crates discussing the heat. Last night it was ten o’clock already, but Broadway was still alive with noise. When I got to 139th there was a whole crew of men in machines pouring wet asphalt over our run-down street. It couldn’t have been louder.

Once I got home I popped in a documentary about early New York City history. Watching it confirmed my belief that this city was always destined for greatness. From the moment Henry Hudson landed on the island in the 1600s clear up until now, Gotham has risen at an alarming pace.

As the ground below me trembled from the asphalt roller outside, I learned about the city’s transition from New Amsterdam to New York. I would have thought that the Dutch would have put up a big fight when the British came to conquer, but this was not the case at all. The people of New Amsterdam were less interested in who governed them and more interested in simply continuing their way of life. Within only two days of the British arrival, the entire infrastructure of New Amsterdam was transformed without any violence. And by the third day it was back to business as usual.

I’m constantly amazed at how this city bounces back. It seems like nothing can stop it. Not a blackout. Not a terrorist attack. Not burning down. Nothing. I’ve come to realize that it’s precisely this momentum that keeps me drawn to the place. Despite so many differences among the people, there is an undeniable spirit of harmony that helps New Yorkers to simply move on.

This morning I was greeted by a pigeon pecking away at our shiny new street. Fallen blossoms were already piled onto the smooth asphalt, and nearly every parking spot was already full. “Amazing,” I thought to myself. In less then twelve hours our street was good as new, impossible to detect it had been a construction site just the night before.

Without pausing, I hurried on down to the 1 Train along with the rest of Hamilton Heights.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear what you've been up to. So, are you sticking with "blogger"? I need help with a title for me. Any tips?
Sasha

Seth said...

Hi Sasha!

Yeah, I'm sticking with Blogger. Here's my first attempts at a name for your blog:

Johnsanity
My Three Sons
My Four Boys
Draper Capers

Enjoy!

seth.

Anonymous said...

Hi Seth,
Samuel likes Draper Capers. I was thinging Allillanmi (I am fine) in Quechua. It's how Abuelito and I greet...but it is a mouthful, and would require an explanation. Good luck at work. Let us know when you'll be heading our way.
Sasha

Uptown Girl said...

Some writers don't consider themselves artists, but I would counter and say that a great writer can paint pictures that rival Klimt, Picasso, or (insert your favorite artist here).

P.S. Your new blog is hot.