One month down, four to go

It’s already been a month and that time seems to have flown by. Perhaps it’s because life goes on here more or less the same as back home; it’s in any case completely different from traveling in another country. That said, my perception of New York has changed over the last month. At first, I could only see the ugliness, but there is charm in ugliness as well. It’s still ugly though. And New York gives me the impression of a place that was, rather than a place that is, the city where it all happened, rather than the city where it happens. It is not old in the way Amsterdam or Budapest are old, it is old in the way a mine worker with pneumoconiosis, a broken back and crooked, blackened teeth is old. Uncovered wires and pipes of all sorts running down the side of a building, the tilted, broken pavement, the rusty fire escapes (as seen in West Side Story and Law & Order) — paint blistering from rusty iron beamsĀ  in a subway station — the stench of urine in that same station, the rain coming in through grates in the pavement above, bringing the grime of the city, while the screeching brakes of a battered subway train slowing down echo ’round — the filthy, standing water between the tracks, a rat looks up, darts away… It is ugly, it has charm, but it is the charm of a city spent.

2 Responses to “One month down, four to go”


  • Dank je wel voor het wijzigen van mijn e-mail adres zodat ik jouw weblog kan blijven ontvangen. Hoop dat je het goed houdt en tja NY is dus echt een oude man geworden. Net terug uit Singapore dat de vitaliateit heeft van het vroegere NY. Have fun though. Mousa mailde me i.v.m. een loopbaanvraag voor haar vriend en schreef ook dat zij onze etentjes in Amstelveen mist!
    Take care, Ian

  • Ha Ian, leuk om te horen. Van een afscheidsdiner is het helaas niet meer gekomen, maar in juni doen we er weer een!

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