New York, New York…. (Part 2)

These are the moments when the struggle, the stress and all the drama that is connected to living in this city are forgotten in an instant. I look at the Empire State Building and it all makes sense and I realize that even though this place sometimes drives me insane there is no other place in the world I could live. It is my 11th year in the “place to be” how I call it. During that time I had many ups and downs. I witnessed a part of world history. I went through the 9/11 attacks, the blackout, the subway strike. I saw the subway prices jump from $ 1.50 to 2.00; people stop to smoke in bars and U2 play under the Brooklyn Bridge. I was living for four years one block away from the World Trade Center until one fall morning it disappeared within a few hours. I still remember my friend Syed who is the brother of a good friend in Germany and became a good friend mine here teach me about the New York rules. While we jaywalked across these at this point to me humongous Avenues and I looked up in awe to the skyscrapers he said, “ Carsten, the main thing is that you never ever stop in New York, when you stop you are dead”. Well, I never stopped this is probably the reason why I am still here. I love New York and I believe New York loves me. I love the energy, the intensity, and all these different people from all over the world. The smell, the tight space, the sirens going off, the subways, the hot summers, the cold winters and the yellow cabs. The honesty of people as well as the dishonest and the crazy ones. I love directness, the possibilities, the interesting people you can meet and all the beauty that you can see wherever you go. Last year I had to go back to Germany for a couple of months to change my visa. All I could think about was how much I miss to cross one of the bridges coming into the city and see this metropolis in front of me and having the knowledge to be part of it. The city has to love you back.  When Frank Sinatra sings, “It is up to you New York, New York” he really means it is up to the city to help you to be able to make it here. So far whenever I even remotely thought about leaving it came up with something that would keep me here. Yesterday it did show me the Empire State Building and made me realize how much I love it to be here and that whatever happens I will always be a New Yorker. 


Staircase. Park Slope/Brooklyn 01-11-08 at 09:02 PM


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