November 5, 2009

Neil Simon?

Waiting on the A trainWaiting on a bus

After all these years, I still find living in NYC so interesting and inspiring. I've seen countless movies that use New York as a backdrop which helps make all the day to day annoying sights and sounds seem almost romantic. Like West Side Story or Brighton Beach Memoirs. I've even seen young people spilling out of the "Fame" school on Amsterdam in overly styled outfits singing and dancing and dismissed it as artistic nerds using a bit of drama and choreography to create a little episode of their theatrical lives in the big city.
In nearly every apartment building there are characters who make living there either annoying or special depending on how you want to look at it. Last night I stayed up until 4:30am and I woke up this morning to a woman singing an opera aria at the top of her lungs. Apparently there are two opera singers in this building. One is very vocal, practicing often, the other not so frequently. Later in the afternoon some person on the 3rd floor across from my apartment was blaring music alternating between Latino and rap with windows wide open. Though slightly annoyed, I couldn't help thinking that this was like the background noise of a Spike Lee film, or earlier a Neil Simon play with the opera singer's practicing. For a moment it seemed sort of quaint. I tried not to be bothered, imaging a film crew outside my window or just tried to accept the fact that these ARE the sounds of New York City, like it of not.
I was thinking of starting a segment on this blog of some of the crazier things I witness on a daily basis as I walk around with my camera. Not a single day passes where I don't see something I find strange, amusing, disturbing, filthy, repulsive, uplifting, beautiful or truly unbelievable. Things someone in Kentucky or Iowa would never see in a lifetime we see on a regular basis. When do you think was the last time somebody in Romance, Arkansas (a real town) saw: Someone take a poop on the street? I've seen it, more than once. How about a guy smoking crack or shooting heroin? A person getting squished dead by a trash truck? A prostitute picking up a John? Countless celebrities doing everyday things like everyone else? A fist fight between two drag queens? A guy getting stabbed in the stomach by a stock boy for shoplifting? Two giant skyscrapers falling down? An impromptu musical performance by Paul McCartney? Someone performing an illegal sexual act to someone else in a car just outside your bedroom window? Or, stepping over a dead person in a public restroom? That's a tiny bit of what I've seen living in New York City.

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