07 January 2008

I will bring you stories and bleary-eyed photos like a regular tourist.

Today was the first day I ventured into the city in a good two weeks, at least. It feels like so much more than that.

Normally, I just stick to the streets of SoHo, where I work, and, occasionally, the Lower East Side, when I'm catching a show at Piano's. Today, I ventured uptown, to Times Square. I rarely visit that part of town anymore. It's the first time I've been in Times Square nearly a year.

Turns out that Athlete's Tourist, with its piano-driven, soulfully-voiced, oftentimes-quiet brand of indie rock, makes a pretty perfect soundtrack for wandering the streets of midtown on a balmy, spring-like evening in January. (Except, maybe, "Half Light," which feels more like the long summer nights of August 2006.)

"If I Found Out" was I came out of the subway at W. 40th and Broadway.

Like I'm eleven again
I was the highest kid in the world
I reached a point with no end
Just looking out so I can take it all in
And all I needed was this one to get me back on my way
It wasn't long before I realised there was no time to waste
There was soul all around me
Everybody let go
It wasn't long before we realised
There was no time to waste

Crazily enough, I ran into a college friend of mine, right there, as I walked down the street. We only walked together for about a block, but it was good to see a familiar face in such a big place, like two worlds colliding out of nowhere. That's not the first time that's happened to me in New York.

"Street Map" came on as I wandered past the theatres of W. 44th St.

I would like someone to make a map
Mark my home and draw some lines that match
All of the reasons why
It can be like you said
One day it's gonna happen
I don't know when
I'll be on your street
But I know one day it's gonna happen
You're gonna be swept of your feet

I remembered something really important right then- that I really I really, truly love New York. I'd forgotten about that in my love for Paris, I think. New York certainly isn't a hometown, not in the way Paris feels, but I love it. I thought about the possibility of moving to the city over the summer, maybe the fall, for who knows how long, and why not? I suddenly wanted to call up my friend and say, "Hey, let's get an apartment. You, and me, and the city." We'd probably drive each other crazy. It might be totally worth it.

And when will I be on your street? On what day will I be stalking the footsteps to your door? In what city? And who are you, anyway?

And then I was standing there, in the bright lights of the Square, looking up, looking at the people around me, looking quite like a regular tourist myself, and how many times have I been here already? "Twenty Four Hours" came on.

People rushing left to right
There's pretty faces left to right
I'm just frozen staring into space
Faster than the speed of light
I'm holding on, I'm holding tight
Cause stars are gonna crash into this place...
We're closing in,
We've still got twenty four hours

And it hit me. This is the ending of an era, isn't it? I'm more or less glad to see 2007 go. It was a hard year in so many ways, even if it was an experience I don't necessarily regret having lived through. But if 2007, with its heartbreak and life-changes, is gone, that means 2008 has roared in, bringing with its beginning a string of ends. The last show, the last semester, the last of college, the last chance for whatever it is you want to happen before that, and then what? Then where? New York? Maybe. Life after May is just a big question mark.

And its caught wide screen so we don't miss a thing

We've still got twenty-four hours. We've still got now. Take in this moment. There will, invariably, be better ones; there will, invariably, be worse. But never never this moment, now, again.

Back on the subway, "I Love" quietly came on amidst the press of humanity on a train.

Summer's long gone out
Sun comes up like it's been about a year
But I don't mind if we drink again my friend, 'cause
There is so much left to say...
We'd be ok if we had
Answers to questions and rhymes and in reasons
Should leave it to me to be all the four seasons...
You see, I love everybody here

I think I love everybody here.

"If I Found Out"
"Street Map"
"Twenty Four Hours"
"I Love"
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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, my dear. I will be happy to join you in the city as soon as I get out of jail... I mean, college!