Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gotta Go to Gotham

From Thursday evening until Monday afternoon, we've been
enthralled by New York City.

What a great place to be, to walk, to gawk, to take your time. That's not something I might have said 30 or 40 years ago.

A "New York state of mind" once seemed like mayhem. Sure, there's still craziness here, much of it driven by greed. But forget that as you weave your way through the broad sidewalks' crowds. Everyone is getting on and getting along.

The reason for the trip was a graduate school reunion, but you don't really need a reason to go to Gotham. The photos show some of the allure. The weather was July-like. Central Park became a jogger's Mecca. "Billy Elliot" on stage rivaled the movie. The food, though Big City expensive, was also Big City exceptional.

Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, a wonder when it was built in the years following the Civil War—a wonder today.

A red-brick building within the shadows of the bridge's Brooklyn-side tower bore a plaque that caught my eye. A young Walt Whitman, it told me, got his start as a reporter in this building, the site of the Brooklyn Eagle.

Why wasn't I panhandled once on Manhattan? There was no evidence of folks living on the streets, or in doorways, or under bridges. Pedestrians roam the streets hassle-free. How odd for a Portlander. What happened to the homeless? Is the city hiding something? Has Mayor Bloomberg found a humane solution that eludes Portland?

New York City is for exploring in more ways than one.

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Anonymous D.J. said...

As a Portlander currently living in New York, let me assure you that there is plenty of panhandling going on. On my way to work here I get asked for change much more frequently than I ever did on the Bus Mall.

Although, I've found that it is the worst on and around the subway. So it's easier to avoid than in Portland.

7:30 AM  

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