A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

A Year In New York header image 2

Day 87: The Bridge Between Grim and Good

September 23rd · 5 Comments

My friend Kimberly, an actress and writer, is visiting and we went for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Kimberly is a buxom redhead with a dramatic flair. She’s also a native New Yorker whose stories fueled my own Manhattan dreams: drinks on a patio with clever creative types, cobbling a life together from the discount rack, a sense of dizzy acceleration.

We leaned against the bridge railing on a cloudy afternoon. A cop had stopped us before we could reach the first pier; the president’s motorcade was coming underneath us on FDR to the United Nations. We weren’t spitting distance, alas.

“How are you liking it here?” she asked.

“Well…” I said, a little hesitant to break the bad news. “The first few months I was excited by all the newness. But now I’m seeing how dirty the city is, and how crowded. You can’t get away from the people. You can’t see the sky. And the days are only going to get shorter, and it’s going to get dark and cold and icy…” I trailed off.

“I know exactly what you mean,” Kimberly said, picking at a piece of paint on the ancient steel beam. “I hate this town.”

“You do?”

“Yes. Hate it. Couldn’t possibly live here again.”

“Hmmmm,” I said, and looked out at Brooklyn and Manhattan and the miles and miles of unforgiving concrete.

Then Kimberly and I watched the motorcade of the president – the president! – roll by with its retinue of black SUVs and flashing cop cars. When it was done we kept walking, but had to stop when one of us told a story that made the other keel over with laughter.

We doubled back under the bridge to have a pepper, olive and mushroom pizza at Grimaldi’s. Sinatra boomed from the speakers and the pizza was steamingly, cheesily good.

Highs and lows. No place to get them like New York.

Tags: Sights & Scenes · Why I Hate This Town

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sulley // Sep 24, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Maybe New York is like your pizza- A tasty meal that will make you greasy and unhealthy if eaten repetitiously.

  • 2 anne // Sep 25, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Oh how I love Grimaldi’s!
    So worth a trip across the bridge.

  • 3 sam iam // Sep 25, 2008 at 1:48 am

    a buxom redhead? Let’s see some pictures for the love of Mike!

  • 4 Buxom Redhead // Sep 25, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Hey, Mike, no pictures of my boobs please! Well, David, I think you nailed this post because that day was a high and low – everything good about NYC (the variety of absolutely everything, the sense of being at the very pulse of the world) and everything bad about NYC (the crowds, the grime, the sense of being utterly alone in the middle of a crowd). May I quibble? I don’t think I qualify as a native NYer because I was born in Ohio. But I was raised in Queens (yeah! Jackson Heights!). And I don’t act anymore. Except like a child, once in a while. I love you and it was just wonderful to share that day with you. Nine months and counting!

  • 5 Jiza (aka buxom brunette) // Jan 4, 2009 at 12:20 am

    As a bona-fide native NY, this post hits too close to home… (pun intended…) I feel you David… I’ve got so much love for NY because well, it’s home but I couldn’t ever live there again… especially after living and loving it up in the bay! Congrats on almost getting through a winter in the big apple… good luck, the best/worst is yet to come! Miss you guys! Come back soon!

Leave a Comment