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I <3 NY — Wait, Do I?

I have a complicated relationship with New York. My dad took me when I was a youngster and I was ecstatic to see my first Broadway show. I was less ecstatic about the stench, the grime, the frustration, and the anger on its streets. This past semester I revisited after nine years and stayed with a dear friend and was soooo lucky to watch Ivo van Hove’s “Kings of War”, but was also deeply affected by New York’s chaos. Three days in the Big Apple is enough for me.

I’ve been to New York several times this semester, though, and each time I return to Boston I find myself missing it a bit more. I’ve been getting more and more into its Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theatre scene and I’m becoming a bit of an addict. And the stench and the grime have begun to feel homey.  And the frustration and the anger feel like the world’s soundscape, and I let it pass me by like a melody. Yet, when I come back to Boston, I still feel like I need a deep ritual cleanse — NY’s chaos gets under my skin, and even after three days I feel like I need to purge. I’m not sure if I love it or hate it, or love it and hate it. This poem came out of me when I was feeling one of the two:

New YorK-crowded as fucK

New YorK-could you gimme a dollar?

New YorK-cut it out, the train’s comin

New YorK-cacophany

New YorK-cunt, watch where you’re goin

New YorK-cant.breathe.

Where the streets are numbers and you are

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                                                                                                             streets away from 42nd street

                                                         I’d rather get caught at 42nd street than Fifth and 56th

 …I didn’t know white houses were made of gold…

Gotham, Hamlet of the Goats, Hamlet of the devil

They don’t call it Sin City for nothin

On the 1 Uptown, where the trains tell you what to do, and the train conductors say

FUCK YOU

                                                                SHARE THE POLE WITH YOUR FELLOW COMMUTER

TAKE OFF YOUR BACKPACK – DON’T TAKE UP THE SPACE OF TWO

KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN – YOU’RE NOT IN THE SHOWER

Give your seat to someone who may need it more than you AND DO IT WITH A SMILE

(Sometimes New York needs a reminder.)

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Bossssss…soffft…

Bossssss…slowww…

Bossssss…silenccceee…

Tonnn…nnniiiccceee…

It’s good to be back in the city that ends with an “ennnnnnn”…

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About gbfontenele

Director and dramaturg in training. Free spirit and questioner from the beginning.

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