Monthly Archives: February 2012

Viewing the Manhattan skyline

There it is. The Manhattan skyline.  I’ve lived here for 30 years and have never rued the day I moved to the city. The arts brought me here to Queens, one train stop away from downtown Manhattan. And the arts and culture keep me here.  There is no location like this in the world, despite New York’s crazy occurrences like bed bug rampages and squirrel attacks on car engines and rabid racoons, and alligators and rats in the sewers… big ones. It is a city of dreams. And I belong here, for I am a dreamer.

A teacher I adored in high school told me, I’ll never forget his words, they are in my yearbook, “Dream big. Give it your all, and don’t let you stand in the way of making it.” Of course, he was talking about himself, but I understood what he meant because we were similar in many ways. First, we were immigrants, well, he was. Actually, I was first generation born of immigrants. Secondly, we had that thick ribbon of stubborn rebelliousness and independence. But his was sturdier than mine. I turned out to be rather a bit of a weak-willed wuss, caught by my gender to behave appropriately and give way it was a man’s world. But he was his own person, and traditional institutions rather dislike those who are independent spirited, regardless of  how talented and inspiring to students they can be. He never received tenure, though he was perhaps the best teacher most in my class had ever had.

Well, I moved on. And years later, after living upstate, I returned to my land of dreams and eventually moved to New York City. Perhaps one of these days, like the song Summertime says, I’ll” rise up singing.” Spread my wings and cross over the threshold into Manhattan to live and have my being. And if that happens, then I will feel that I truly belong. And when I’m settled in, boxes unpacked, Persian carpets laid out, furniture moved in and my cat taking a nap,  I’m going to leap up and anchored like a rock give a shout out,  “Girl, it certainly feels good to be home!”*

*Home is the place where you feel the most comfortable in your own skin.

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