New York Vistas
New York is more, much more than a city of dreams:
by Richard Stoker
A helpful junkie in baggy grey flannel slacks, sweat shirt,
holed socks, newspaper filled down-at-heel sandals, says:
'Give me a dime, sir,' he shivers, I give him a dollar
'Take yer where yer going' man fur that! he says, wiping his
runny nose on his sleeve as he tries to keep out the cold.
His hand on my arm like a blind man guides me the few blocks from
Times Square to 'Musical America': 'Have a good day, sir,' he says
leaving me with a faint hearted weary half salute as he trudges away
through cold February snow. Later I'm propelled by yellow cab
along a Gershwin Musical of colourful canopied entrances to the
litter on Broadway; descending, the architecture on 34th street
reminds me unexpectedly of Leeds/Yorkshire where in china tea and
coffee scented shopping arcades -- I played as a lad of seven.
Changing lifts near the top of Empire State I remember the 'huddled
masses yearning to breath free'. Looking out over Manhattan my 'tired
poor' guide is now far, far below me. 'Does the Battery flagpole still
stand in its place as in 1797 two hundred or so years ago?' I wonder.
The city of dreams is now telescoped in time with more, much more, -- a
darker side -- a city-of-sorrow seen through a rich 'golden-door'.