Friday, December 15, 2006

What is this world coming to?

What is this world coming to? A kinder and gentler NYC?

I recently spent time in Midtown Manhattan and was pleasantly surprised at a softer Big Apple... What's going on here? Even with the hustle and bustle of the holiday time, and the general increased stress of the season, I found crowds, police officers, bus drivers, subway attendants, etc. all courteous and helpful. In past trips, I must admit that my experiences have been less than hospitable.

I mean I took the ferry across the Hudson at Pier 79 several times and there was actually a greeter with maps and smiles, cheerfully giving assistance and helpful information where possible. I'm confused... so, what's happened? I took the wrong bus and had several passengers eager to help me correct my mistake and help me on my way, being sure that I made the right connection.

Between business commitments, I had a great time...seeing some amazing art museum exhibits at the MET, MoMA, Guggenheim, and, eating an incredible lamb and chicken gyro on 5th Avenue, ice skating at Bryant Park, gazing at the department store windows, riding the ancient wood escalator to the top of Maceys, hiking through the Rambles and climbing to the top of the Belvedere Castle in Central Park, listening to Mozart in the J.P. Morgan Library while following along with the original 18th C. score, zooming to the "Top of the Rock" at Rockerfeller Center and taking in the never ending vista of a crystal clear morning, engaging shoppers at Saks while being sprayed with French perfume, googling the jewelry at Tiffany's, being in awe of the architectural detail of the City Library Reading Room, parading through St. Patrick's Cathedral reverently paying respect at the Nativity display, engaging in animated conversation with dozens of Italians (from Italy on a holiday) in Italian - sharing impressions of the season and the city with them, and feeling the spirit in a perfect Sacrament Meeting at the Chapel at Lincoln Center.

I was supposed to take in a show on Broadway, having tickets in my possession of the hottest show in town, but confused the night of the performance, and ended up missing it all together - and I even didn't get upset. Now what's up with that?

I learned that you never stand on 42nd Street waiting for a bus or taxi when the Canadian north winds blow through the city - the wider cross street with tall buildings each side create a canyon magnification of that wind so that you freeze your butt off within 30 seconds! Thank goodness for glove and scarf street vendors!

I know I'm sounding like the country bumpkin / Utah hick that I am... but that's okay.

You know - I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with the fact that I saw many amazing-looking guys and I was able to handle it - such as: "look over there, Beck, at that young stud with gorgeous hair pulled back loosely into a perfect ponytail - you know, that guy staring at the Picasso painting"... and I would respond to myself "yeah, he's a beauty all right!" and not get all stressed and discombobulated inside.

You know... with NYC being kinder and gentler, even softer around the edges, and with Beck becoming okay with himself and with the gayness inside, handling feelings in stride - even with a sense of calm...

I have to ask:

What is this world coming to?


Chris said...

I've lived and worked in NYC since 1999 and have always found New Yorkers to be a helpful lot. We can be brush and short, but most are willing to help and we want you to like our city.

But, you know, why didn't you look me up when you were here? ;)

Beck said...


I wonder if I could ever live in NYC and survive. This last trip made it seem possible...

I kick myself for not looking you up! It would be fun to see a "native's" view of the big city. There will be opportunities to come, I'm sure... I'll take you up on the offer.

santorio said...

i lived in manhattan late 60s and early 70s and have returned often. nyc was never friendlier than when rudy was mayor. he may have some personality problems but the city worked well under him. it has slipped some since then but remains better than the 60s and 70s.