Times Square Kiss (w/Prince in the background)
New York I love you. I love you but you've changed. The energy of NYC - eclectic and electric will never change, that's a constant. No matter how many crappy new NYU buildings go up the palpable & alluring energy of the city is there to stay. Sure, there are still tons of artists and freaks living downtown but there's a frigging 7-Eleven on Ave. A. AVENUE A (THIS IS AN ALL CAPS MOMENT PEOPLE)!!!!! I mean, I moved to the East Village in 1992 and for many I'm sure it was already over then but there were still junkies and prostitutes on the streets. I liked it better when it was still dangerous to cross Ave. C. I felt more at home with the junkies and pimps and whores and street urchins than I do with frat boys and clusters of girls walking in a horizontal line down the middle of the sidewalk clucking like chickens but believing they are Carrie Bradshaw.
I had the absolute pleasure of taking my boyfriend to NYC for his 1st ever visit. If you've never been to NYC with someone who has never been to NYC then I suggest you try it. I could see the magic and excitement in his eyes from the moment we set foot on the filthy sidewalks of downtown until the cab back to JFK. He was practically Mary Tyler Moore-ing his way through the streets, tossing his hat up in the air and twirling about. We even went to Times Square solely for the purpose of getting a kiss photo with the backdrop of a million watts of light bulbs flaring. It was intoxicating to see him revel in the electricity of the city.
Of course, we were on vacation and everything is more alluring when you have no agenda or commitments except seeing friends perform and socializing. The main point of visiting at the time we did was to see the reunion of two of my favorite performers of all time Kiki & Herb. My entire time in NYC could be told using Kiki & Herb shows as a backdrop to my experiences. I'd seen them perform everywhere from the now obsolete Flaming East all the way up to a sold out show at Carnegie Hall! Under the guise of two old washed up boozy cabaret performers who seem clueless about life is the sharp and pointed social commentary of 2 extremely intelligent and seasoned performers. They tackle social issues by telling their fictionalized life story peppered with popular songs from all eras. Mx Justin Vivian Bond is the well endowed Chanteuse Kiki, and Kenny Mellman is her gay Jew tard (their description, it's like when black people use the "N" word) piano accompaniment. It's genius performance on all levels. Jacob got to see them for the 1st time and I got to see them for the millionth but it was as if absolutely no time had passed since their last show.
That's kind of how it feels to me to be back in NYC - it's as if no time had passed at all. Connecting with true friends always feels like that, you pick up exactly where you left off last and there's never any weirdness stepping right back into those roles. The only real evidence of time passing is the presence of new businesses and the disappearance of old ones. Things like the fucking 7-Eleven on the corner in my old hood is a sharp slap on the face reminding us that time has, in fact, passed. Kind of like when you're always with your friends and you feel like you've all always looked the same and then you see a photo from 1992 and you're like "DAMN!! I guess we don't really look like kids anymore!"
NYC I will always love you. It's been nice to be on the West Coast the past decade and to know that no matter what happens the streets of NYC will always feel like home. In NYC I have the confidence of a native strutting around the neighborhood that I know like the back of my hand despite the appearance of some blemishes and scars that may not have been there before. Perhaps I'll live there again one day, I'm certainly not the kind of person who could stay in the same spot my whole life. I know NYC and it's energy will always be there and I will always be able to slip right into the current of it.