On a chilly Friday night in the heart of Brooklyn the laughter and dancing was drawing to a close. The evening wound down and last call rang out from behind the bar. Everyone sensed the end was near, then slowly out of the speakers came an old familiar melody.
Start spreadin’ the news,
I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
Friends and neighbors gathered around, arm in arm and like a scene straight out of a Broadway show they kicked in unison while singing along.
I want to wake up, in a city
That doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap
I’ll make a brand new start
In old New York
If I can make it there, Ill
make it anywhere
Its up to you, New York,
If there was ever a thing called New York magic, this was it. It would make even the grumpiest of people believe that New York had something special. I’ll have to admit, this was my third time to the big apple and I never found the magical city I’d seen and read about for so many years. To be honest, I always deemed myself much more of a London person if forced to choose.
Two days ago I once again stepped out of Penn Station onto 7th Avenue and thought,
“Man this place smells bad! In fifteen years you couldn’t make it smell any better? Graffiti, garbage, rats… I see you’re still here too.”
As I headed toward Herald Square to catch the M train to Brooklyn, suitcase in hand, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people. Black friday had hit NYC in a big way. As I crossed onto 34th Street I looked up and saw the remnants of the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade lingering in shop windows and atop buidings surrounding the square. This is it, I thought. This is the magic.
Every year since I was little I would watch the Macy’s parade in the living room with my Mom and sister while my Dad prepped Thanksgiving dinner. Every Christmas season we would watch movies like Miracle on 34th Street along with many other old Hollywood classics and get lost New York of another time. Nowhere else in the world could bring back all those memories and feelings of joy except New York.
The magic really isn’t New York the city, the magic for me is in the feelings and memories that New York represents. At it’s core New York is just a city with regular people. Regular people who wake up, go to work and live everyday lives. The magic happens when you’re walking down the street and stop to say “Wow, that means something.” Not every city can do that.
We visit for the New York magic. The moment of magic is why we put up with the smell and the fact that breakfast in a shanty shack is $50 and they put cauliflower in omelettes, a place where cauliflower does not belong. We ignore the fact that next to the fancy restaurant is a bag of poop and an abandoned cardboard house. We put up with all of that because at the end of the day when you find that small piece of New York magic, you are awfully glad you came.