Sunday, Anna and I went for brunch in Soho. On our way down 6th Avenue I had to tell her how much I still love this city. "What do you love about it?" she asked. (She has more mixed feelings about it than I do). It made me reflect.
It's hard to explain without indulging in the 'it's about the energy' cliché. I guess it has to do with images from the childhood. There is a NYC mythology in the common subconscious, and even natural born Americans are sensitive to it; the mental image associated with NYC may pretty much look the same for every kid, at least in the western world, USA included. The way cinema has always depicted the city, the effervescence of its art scene in the 20th century and its impact on global culture have definitely played a role in building the brand....The famous Sinatra lyrics "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" should not be underestimated in their contribution in etching the attributes of NYC into the global psyche as well. "A tough place where the whole world comes to ruthlessly compete". A place of extreme wealth associated with global recognition and extreme hardship associated with broken dreams and unlucky circumstances. Everything and it's opposite. A world city that never sleeps, sort of an extra terrestrial space ship with its own codes and etiquettes, an island (I have always loved islands) that is also a world stage with the most prestigious exposure.
At the core of my fascination with it, there is the notion that few people move to NYC without a goal, a dream, an ambition. It's a place for risk takers, for talent, for people who believe in something, and who are radical (or romantic) enough to believe in the possible against all odds, rather than to settle into the rational, the reasonable, and the more secure life choices. My own life story epitomizes that very concept, hence maybe the deep bond I feel with NYC.