Really, I do. And have done so for more than fifty years. I first fell in love with the place as a kid, reading books set in New York City. (Had I been more aware, I would have wondered: “Why the heck do so many writers set their stories in this one city?” Now I know the answer.)
I first went there in 1975 and stayed for a year. And have gone back regularly ever since. I married someone who grew up there, and my younger step-daughter moved there when she was eighteen. (The older s-d opted for London. That’s good, too!)
And the older I get, the more I love the place. Good people watching? Sure. But it’s also the best eavesdropping on the planet. New Yorkers are such a wierd paradox: On one hand, they’re the most provincial people on the planet. All of ’em. On the other hand, they’re so engaged with the world around them (narrow and limited though that world might be.) They exude energy, which means, in turn, that the physical city vibrates with all that energy.
The city is different for me now because these days, I enjoy it in the company of a small child (my s-d’s son, who will be four in October). I adore that kid. I’m besotted by the kid! And he’s a delightful touring companion so my favorite place is now doubly, triply, quadruply delightful. (I doubt that latter adjective is a real word, but you get my drift.)
On this most recent visit, I devoted one day to business (downtown to see editor, uptown to see agent), and the rest to the city: High Line Park, which I’d not yet managed to visit, followed by a stroll through the West Village en route to pizza.
A visit to the Queens Museum of Art to see a mammoth cartographic map of the city’s water system; a nearly surreal panoramic 3-D map of the city; and a small but choice exhibit of black-and-white photos taken in the 1950s; followed by a visit to the New York Aquarium and a stroll along the Coney Island boardwalk.
(I’m but an average skee ball player, although had someone handed me enough quarters, I’dve spent a whole lotta time trying to improve my game.)
And so my half-century love affair with the city continues. Yet another reason I’d love to be a hundred and fifty.