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Thread: Where I Keep My Sand

  1. #1

    Default Where I Keep My Sand

    Time...

    It's viscosity is like mercury or fine sand. It slips through the fingers in a cascade, leaving little behind save for the rapidly fleeting reminder of the moment it was in your hand, then wasn't. A slave to it's dictates, you move on, endlessly picking up and losing handsfull, building up layers of reminders grain by grain. Many better people than I have studied it and tried to discover it's strange properties, only to fail, so I won't try. I'll be too busy filling my hands with it, then watching as it vanishes...

    Almost ten years ago, I first became aware of these pages while seeking answers about New York. The interweb had bloomed a few years previously, and all kinds of information was becoming available about everything. A virtual library was assembling, fulfilling the Geek's Promise, and "Wired New York" seemed ( to me anyway ) to be one the of reasons I had a Library Card.
    A lifelong affecionado of skyscrapers and cityscapes, I had been seeking info from 'Skyscraperpage. com", where someone's post mentioned "Wired New York" as a good source of contemporary information about the Big City. I investigated, I joined and have been a member since, surviving the unfortunate crashes and occasional graphics changes.
    In September 2001, having JUST returned from a visit to The City, I had several questions about what I had seen and done on my visit, so I found this Forum--now named "community"-- joined the club and had my questions answered.

    In those days I WAS a tourist, a visitor like millions of others--only I was a returning son, a NYC expatriate, a former Village Person. I lived in snowless, taxless Florida since my early '70s departure from New York, and had erased all memory of NYC from my sandy hands. I ignored the place for decades. Business trips caused reasons for me to visit, and in the mid-'90s I became a frequent, almost obsessive visitor. I sought my roots, those formative years when the soot and vomit, the songs and laughter, the friends and labor delivered by New York permeated my cell structure and made me it's own. In New York, I had built a sandbox.

    In 2001, I was on my 10th non-business trip to town. I stayed in the Hotel Pennsylvania for nearly a week, taking advantage of Labor Day rates ( the Hotel alone was the seed for several posts to "WNY" ) and I had a long, leisurly period to scoop sand and kill time on the City's streets. It was a great visit, one that took me to 4 Boroughs and ultimately to a business-day Battery Park City on a cool and sunny late August morning.


    A wild hair directed me to the Trade Center and it's up-top panoramic vista of The City, so I queued up on the South Tower's visitor's ramp, paid the $13.00 tab and and had a visit. As I awaited entry to an elevator of my own and while lingering among the backpacked Swiss students, the well-dressed guys from Dallas and dozens of others lining the sun-dappled ramp, I looked downward and saw the 9AM throngs on the lobby floors in THEIR queues, bunching up to pack the elevators heading to the offices and places above, and I marveled at their numbers.
    Although my Dad had had an office in one of the Towers (he was chief physician for the NY State Drug Rehab Commission), I had never been there before, so this was to be a true, new adventure for me. I lingered on top for hours, taking it all in, using up all the film I had brought. Eventually, I let the sand drift from my tightly clenched palm and I moved on, debarking on the Plaza, catching a train to Brooklyn for lunch.

    Days later, as the plane banked South out of JFK, my final 2001 view of New York was the foggy, craggy tip of Manhattan, abruptly rising from a greenish mottled Harbor, and the two fingers of shining aluminum that were the dramatic punctuation marks of the City below. I could almost see where I had been standing, taking pictures from 110 floors over NY. I would never see that scene quite that way again.

    When I got home, I joined "Wired New York" and asked questions. That was just about ten years ago, save a month or so, and I have slept in maybe a dozen of The City's hotel beds since. A thousand questions have been fielded and answered in this forum, and I am a better man for my participation here. Now, my status as a member AND those vanished moments I shared on this forum the day I joined are about to intersect again, ten years down...

    Here, at least since September 5, 2001, is where I keep some of my sand.
    Last edited by Hof; July 17th, 2011 at 03:22 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Damn Hof, I wish I could write like that. You'll make everyone who reads this want to move there. One week from 9/11, consider yourself lucky. So is it something like "The more it changes, the more it stays the same"? Does NY seem smaller to you when you visit now, or bigger, or the same?

    Excellent piece of work.

  3. #3

    Default mariab--

    I appreciate your comments, and equally appreciate the interesting question you posed.

    Through the experiences I have had in the City, New York continuiously seems to grow LARGER to me each time I visit.

    The old adage, " the more you learn, the less you know", blooms with truth. Everytime I leave The City I carry with me a list of things I'll HAVE to do on my next visit, stuff I just never got around to, or new things that caught my attention. The list is always long, and my curiosity about New York is always expanding...

    So, yes, NYC, to me, is a constantly expanding universe, one that spins off new constellations with each visit.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks Hof, once again you have said more or less what I think about NY.

    But, you say it so much better than I could.

    I look forward to your next contribution.

  5. #5
    European Import KenNYC's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Manhattan - BPC
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    774

    Default

    Wow, you are definitely a talented writer, and a great story too.

    Do you actually write for a living, or are you just "one of those" people who have a natural talent for it?

  6. #6

    Default

    KenNYC--

    The most--and some of the best--stuff I have ever written during my literate years is on this and two other (automobile-related) sites; other than that, except for business things, I haven't written anything of substance since college, and that was when Nixon was President. At best, I have been writing since 1999, when I got my first home computer.

    That makes me "one of those", I suppose.

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