Friday, May 17, 2013

Noon in Manhattan

That's the time as I begin a long-overdue post on my writers blog. I'm staring out at the brick walls across a narrow street in Tribeca, a neighborhood of old factories near the Holland Tunnel entrance that is being rapidly gentrified and becoming some of the most expensive real estate on the island. From the corner windows, I can see down to the Hudson River, where I will walk soon and long on a lovely spring day in Manhattan.

 I've loved this city for a long time. Its buzz is seductive, intense. It's a cultural mecca, and it is also the history of immigrant America, once wild and lawless, always a bit out of control, an entryway for so many of our ancestors. Mine, on both sides of the family, passed through its port to set foot in "America" before heading west where the jobs existed, where a world could still be created out of hard labor and a whole lot of suffering and loss.

Manhattan has also become a city for the rich, and maybe also the very poor who are still rent stabilized and able to access needed services. For the rest of us, it's a great place to visit, but impossible to stay.