Monday, March 19, 2012

That's why I love cities

I'm sitting on the pier watching the Manhattan skyline. Above me, droopy branches of willow sway to a cool, windy lullaby. The water looks like a grey satin blanket under which rolls of pennies shift rhythmically. The light in the sky seems to have the sun dusted off of it. So it glitters prettily on every reflected surface without the singe. It dances off the handle of a pram, the curve of a ring, mirrored building walls. It even flecks off beads on a skirt.

Ahead of me I see buildings - stacks of concrete and steel. They are shaped long and narrow - like weapons. If the skyline had to suddenly get animated and thump forwards to take over the city, the invasion would be quick and smooth. These tools are supposed to be sharpnels that eke out any humaneness from civilization. Yet...

...yet each building reflects the one opposite it. One structure gets fused inside another.  The steel cradles each sunbeam and tosses it out. The light bends, moves, pirouettes, and seems to trace everything like a soft caress. Around all of this, people stride or amble along, as if moving along some continuum of purpose. And along this continuum are 'hellos' and smiles. There is stepping aside and letting someone else pass. There are appreciative glances and shy look-aways. And all this gets tessellated on those steel and mirror facades. Each panel becomes a canvas for this humanity that's supposed to be getting impersonal or cold or disjointed or lost. But a seagull glides by, soaring above the buildings, almost blessing this crazy crowd and those sharp tools.

And all's well with the world - even though it's steel and grey.

1 comment:

Serendipity said...


Are you going to be hitting Neiman Marcus ?:)