On my way to work tonight I got stuck in a ton of traffic because this movie, is filming on the same block as the bar. There were all the office workers just getting out of work lined up on the street for a glimpse of Robert DiNero. I had to walked through the mele to the Fed Ex box so I could send my broken DVR back. It is scenes like this that make me appreciate living in the city.
I have wanted to live in the city since I was 5 years old. My sister took me to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show for my birthday January 2, 1972. (The advantages of having a sister who is 14 years older than you are). I remember going to Mama Leone’s for dinner after the show. I recall vividly as we descended into Penn Station for the long train ride home I thought to myself, I will grow up and live in a city. I thought about it for years after. During high school I used to look at the highway that went westward to NYC and the rest of the country longingly. Long Island was not for me and I craved to leave as soon as possible. I wanted to see what else was out in the world.
I really wanted to go to NYU for college. I got accepted but in no way could afford it. Instead I chose Temple University. Temple was a commuter school in the 80′s but hell, I was in THE CITY. I remember my sophomore year after I got my first off campus apartment, I would ride the subway with my Walkman on everywhere and anywhere. I was so lonely because I was in a city alone where I only knew my suburban sister who was in her 30′s and busy having a family and a career. It was then I knew I was home.
The city is gritty, it may have more crime than other places, it may be more expensive at times, but it is real. Walking down the streets in Center City Philly on a given day you may see a variety of life that you would not see tucked away in the ‘burbs. I love my kids will grow up city kids. They will know how to hike and how to take a bus. They will learn to listen to the sense inside them to keep them safe. I promised them at birth that I would never leave them in a cultural void of the suburbs I grew up in. I hope they grow up to be people of a new world. I hope for them exactly what I never had.