Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Empire State of Mind

New York!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!

These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

I haven't been able to stop listening to this song since the Yankees have made the World Series. It's no secret -- never has been, never will be, I am an incorrigible New York snob. I love New York and I mean every part of it. Even the worst, most annoying parts of New York I love as much, if not more, than the best any other city could offer.

And more than that -- I love its worst aspects the most. I love the city's unrelenting brutality.

so they can step out of bounds quick,
the side lines is blind with casualties,
who sip the lite casually, then gradually become worse

New York devours the incapable and the unlucky. How many souls have gambled their lives on trying to make it big in New York? I look at the city, it's starving artists working in bookstores, struggling musicians daylighting as waiters, prospective models in retail and writers teaching ESL classes -- none of them are blind to the fact that the odds are against them but yet they fight on believing that they can beat the odds. New York may tear apart ten thousand others, but I will overcome, I will not be defeated. More than any other quality, it's that combination of boiling ambition and guts that I admire more than any other.

I'm absolutely in love with the fact that the weak leave or die and those who remain never look at you with their eyes begging for pity. Of all the climbers whether they native-born or those who came from afar whether it's New Jersey or New Zealand, those that see New York as a summit to ascend rather than just a geographical coordinate, I have never met a one that asked for pity.

Money, fame, skill, upbringing, everyone who comes must struggle. Whether you're the most talented baseball player of your generation or the girl next door from Syracuse, New York will only accept you when you make it. It will break you down, humble you and fill you with more pride than you could ever acquire anywhere else. I think of the great variety of friends I've met here: those who were born here and just want to live a quiet life, crusaders out to change the world, refugees of poverty who want to re-shape every aspect of their world, to the barnacles who float in New York waters soaking in the electric atmosphere... I think of all of them and I realize with an absolute certainty that this, more than anywhere else in the world, is where I want to be, where I have to be.

These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with everything that you've written. For me, I think of how much easier of a time; how much more FUN of a time I might have if I did ministry out on the Left Coast, or really anywhere outside of the spiritual pressure cooker of this city. I still think about it sometimes, but my resolve is steeled and I want to be here, serving these people who don't want to be served, who don't think they NEED it. That's MY challenge as a future minister.