I think I was 17 when I fell in love with Manhattan. Unlike the closed minded Brooklyn community in which I grew up, it was there, among the freaks and the weirdos, that I felt truly accepted.
Give us your different, your strange,
Your misguided, your misunderstood
Our apartments like cubicles, piled one on top of the other, outrageously painted, posters on the wall, not unlike a college dormitory. People wonder, why put up with the crowding, the masses, the limited amount of space? But it is here where community grows strong, it is here where we know this is a small price to pay for living in the greatest city in the world.
My neighbors, the T.V. hooker with the heart of gold, the rock star, the guy who sells comic books on St. Marks, the homeless guy who sells words of wisdom at 25 cents a pop, and Mr. Schindleheim at 3rd and C who makes the city’s best bagels, and you know in NYC, that is saying a lot.
Give us your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to be free
If I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere
But the best is the night time, when the energy of the street beckons you. And so we emerge from our tiny cages, in our platform boots, our tight jeans, our short fur jackets, the beautiful wrecks, the 5 AM perfection, the glitter in the gutter, the screwed up eyes and screwed down hair-dos
Oh, Alice, you remind me of Manhattan
The seedy and the snaz, the shoe boys and the satins
Like a throne made of gilt that too many johns have sat in
I’ll never forget the last morning, as the grey light of day descended over a city still asleep, or maybe still awake from the night before, he left my bedroom, leaving me a wreck, crying on the disheveled bed, saying goodbye to a city I would never see again.
Now I live in Los Angeles, with all it’s sharp angles, it’s elegant curves, it’s austere white mansions, it’s eminence front, and it’s perpetual blue skies and sunshine, where you could almost forget the heavy layer of smog that hovers outside the atmosphere, where I look at the people around me
if they know what it’s like
to love a city.