Tuesday, July 27, 2010
New York State of Mind
New York Times
July 26, 2010
I have lived in New York for 32 years, but it was only in 2000, when I moved downtown, that I finally felt settled in the city.
I feel a calm and security that I did not experience in my decades of residence on the Upper East and Upper West sides. This is not to say I was unhappy or discontent with earlier digs or did not consider the first brownstone apartments and the later and progressively larger prewar spreads as homes – because I did, ever more intensely so as they began to fill with children, animals and the pieces of furniture, like a dining room table or a grand piano, that are the badges of permanent domesticity. And it is fair to say that my respective neighborhoods, each in turn, provoked my interest and allegiance; when I moved a mere seven blocks down Broadway, it involved considerable shifting of routine and considerable disorientation. I did not know until I came to New York how intimately you can relate to your streetscape and how personal and grounding experiencing architecture can be. But until I moved downtown, I didn’t know the nature of my sense of place in the city.