Thursday, January 10, 2013

So Knish to Meet You, NYC

I'm a New Yorker now, not only because I have bought a knish off the street & marveled my way down 5th Ave at Christmastime, but because I can see my own experience here as a microcosm of The New York Experience. I think the earliest second that could possibly happen, it did (this morning. I thought, okay, how long have I been here, exactly? Answer: 40 days & 40 nights. The classic epic blink of an eye). Maybe I'll talk about all that heady shyte sometime.

Now? The humble knish. buying the knish off the street was a hallmark thing for me. Such a simple bit of behavior: asking for the food, giving my money to the man in the cart, walking away along Central Park South with my package. I pulled over, unwrapped it a bit and stood along the wall, and watched the people continue in their hasty Christmas blur all around me. Just then I began to recognize the moment for what it was. The meaning began to seep in just as the steam & savory smells escaped the package.

It had been 15 or 16 hours since disembarking at Penn Station to a long evening of talking with an old friend, a good night's sleep & my first morning waking in my new surroundings. But it hadn't hit that I was here yet. It hadn't hit, even though I had been treated to a taste of NYC magic during my arrival. Even though my friend's west-facing view is of the Hudson. Even though I could say "Harlem: I am in you", had taken the subway, had met and been assisted by an Irish cop (true story), had twirled around looking upward and seen nothing but skyscrapers. It hit when I bit into my knish. If I'd had worded thoughts, they'd have been something like, "I'm here, I am in New York City." Instead, the taste and fluff of potato in its crepey wrapping simply became Manhattan history in me somehow. It was a sort of transubstantiation. The prologue had ended and my story had begun. Delicious little pockets of sour cream were involved.

For my next trick, I'll tell you things like the magic during my arrival, the non-magic job hunt, the one-story-as-a-microcosm-of-the-greater-story moment I had this morning, and other stuff of my first month-plus in Manhattan. Spoiler One: Despite troubles, It has been the best discovery of my life, in key part because I know that as long as I'm here it will never end. I know New York can always find ways to be new for you. Spoiler Two: I've kept falling in love with New York at every turn, even though (even AS) it was trying to murder me (true story; next post, I promise). That & more to come, now that I've finally GOT A JOB & have allowed myself to exhale & think about things such as posting to my blog.

P.S. Searching for images, I've just discovered that 2013 is a Year of the Knish ;)

So how about that!