The City That Has Become a Museum

Beautiful essay in the Times today about the changes taking place in New York City. Written by a guy born in Manhattan, but now priced out and living happily in Brooklyn.

…as I tried to make my way through the scrum, I found myself throwing elbows and cursing at the city. Only later that night, when I looked up at Times Square, did I stop to admire the museum that Manhattan has become. The hysterical wattage of the billboards had turned the night sky over Broadway a pale blue — a kind of artificial, perpetual dusk into which the New York I once knew has floated, never to return. I watch that New York float farther away all the time, marveling at the sparkle, but relieved to live in a different city.

Manhattan is a dream – a good dream. To visitors, or to those who see it on television, it is a cathedral of power, money and excitement. To those who’ve lived there a long time, it’s the place that made them tough and shrewd, it was “their town” – but is now the province of outsiders. For a recent New Yorker, like myself, it’s a little of both. I think of it as “mine” but I’m still awed by it.


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