After work I headed to the new place to do some unpacking, after the kind Justin helped me move some breakables last night. On my way back, I was so engrossed in my crossword puzzle that I missed my stop and ended up on Roosevelt Island. I headed over to the Manhattan-bound side to catch another train back (carrying my empty boxes), and enjoyed the air-conditioned F. As usual, I stared at the ads – foot surgery experts, child injury lawsuit experts, english experts – but noticed one of those subway poems brought to us by Barnes and Noble.
Usually I don’t really pay attention to them, but this one stuck out. It’s by E.B. White, excerpted from Here New York.
There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter–the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something.
Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last–the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.
The rest of the essay is a bit darker, but I still like it, and I wouldn’t have noticed it had I not missed by stop.
I always wanted to live in NYC, and while at times (especially this spring, when I was so close to moving to Seattle) I have been fed up with some aspects of the City, it really is an amazing place to live. Who knows what the future will bring, and who knows if this is where I’ll buy a home, get married, etc. But while I’m here, I’m going to keep loving it and taking in as much of it as possible. I agree – us settlers do bring the passion.