We didn’t get off to a good start, did we? When we first met, I found you haughty, pretentious and arrogant.
You were the type of city my mother had warned me about. You were overbearing with your tall buildings, non expungeable odour of refinement and blatant air of aloofness. You were emotionally and economically unavailable. You were high handed, like the pretty boys in college I totally avoided. Here I was, stuck with you for a month. I must admit, I tried to get away from you. I had a brief, very enjoyable fling with Orlando, but Orlando was a summer romance and It didn’t last.
Here I was, back to square one or rather to the 1st avenue. Back into your unwelcoming arms! You gave me a smug smile and I resigned to your company.
Did I like you? Hell no!
Was it love at first sight? Definitely not!
But you were a persistent bastard, weren’t you? Every time I thought I had you figured out, you’d surprise me with your enthralling charm. Who would have thought that even though you outwardly bear a countenance of glass and steel, on the inside, deep within, from the 59th street to the 110th street, you are green, welcoming and a ball of lush!
You were cheeky as hell, making me walk street after street, avenue after avenue just to get about anywhere. You were such a puzzle. Every street of yours was an enigma and mystery. Every avenue held a slice of history. Every few blocks, I would feel compelled to crane my neck and take in your majesty. You’d make me gape every step of the way, you’d show me sights to behold and you’d make me feel like a little girl in a huge library.
With an enviable skyline, a meticulous grid-like topography, with heroic natural history and irresistible metropolitan charm, you built a bridge to my heart. In fact you built multiple bridges- Brooklyn, George Washington, Queens, Bronx and so many more. You led me down the Hudson river under a starry starry night and you had me captivated.
After a point, and inexplicable as this may sound, I wanted to spend more time with you. I had begun to enjoy your company, to find humour in your sarcasm, to see your aloofness as a way of hiding your vulnerability. The more I discovered you, the more I liked you. There was this cosmopolitan tension between us that set my pulse racing. You could be practical and analytical when we walked down Wall Street and you could be naughty and dramatic when we strolled down Times Square. You could be extravagant in your approach and modest in your views. What a fine balance of both worlds you were. There were no dull moments with you. You were a potpourri of cultures and backgrounds. You were flirtatious as hell. You made me feel beautiful without saying a word. With indirect gestures and vague compliments, I knew you found me attractive. I got the feeling that you were beginning to find It hard to resist me. Most cities do!
In your steel grey eyes, I wasn’t just another girl. With you, I was a poetess, a dreamer and an artist. You made me feel free and liberated. My opinion mattered to you. Had I begun to like you? Perhaps.
You didn’t lech at me like my ex cities. You didn’t tell me how to dress up, what to eat, what to watch, how to think. You let me be me! You challenged my dogmas and corrected my prejudices.
I could wear my shortest dress and have no fear of finding your hand up my skirt. With you, I was a person and not a piece of meat.
You are inarguably the most dynamic city I have ever visited. EB White was right, a poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. You, New York, are like poetry. You compress all lives, all races, all breeds into a small island. You are without a doubt, the greatest human concentrate on Earth, the poem whose magic is comprehensible to millions but whose full meaning will always remain illusive.
I have begun to like you and I have dropped so many hints. I go out with you everyday and I flirt with your multiple confusing public network systems. I take so many selfies with you and I bare my heart to you. These are hints New York! But like they say, cities don’t get the hint unless you openly declare your love for them from rooftops. So here goes, NYC, I will declare my love for you, from the highest point of the Empire State Building and with a very public Facebook post. Will you get the hint now?