“New York can never die!” I shout to no one in particular. The fact that some “journalist” could ever think for one second that my beloved New York City could just go away (reminder: I’ve been to New York twice) is just insane to me.
I mean, it’s the concrete jungle where dreams are made of (the first time I went I was five and I don’t really remember it). It’s the city that never sleeps! (I was in bed by 8 PM, because again, I was five.) There’s nothing you can’t do in New York (all I did was go to Times Square and shit my pants in a Planet Hollywood). A pandemic can’t touch this city! (I was touched by a man in an Elmo costume in Times Square.) If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! (I have not made it in New York, I have not made it anywhere according to my family and the general standard of “making it.”)
Sure, maybe all the bars, restaurants, comedy clubs, actual clubs, stadiums, are shut down, but you know what’s not shut down? The heart and soul of the city. The things that make New York New York and not Boston, that piece of shit place (I've never been to Boston). I'm talking about the taxi driver who can get me to the MET in under five minutes to intercept Chuck (my boyfriend’s name is Rick) from kissing (sexually assaulting) Jenny (that slut), the street performers who serenade me as I walk past (my headphones are always in, I'm listening to a podcast and I do not make eye contact with strangers since the Elmo thing).
You can shut down my 24-hour fitness (I don't work out), but you can't shut down the park where I met my future husband “Big” while reading drafts of my latest article (old-fashioned takes on heteronormative relationships) and wearing a chunky cable knit sweater as the leaves fell around me (I am not engaged and do not read or write).
Ugh, nothing beats a New York Fall! (I fell out of my high Chair at Planet Hollywood everyone saw I can never go back.)
It's the Big Apple! The most famous food city in the world (is that right?). What would I do without my daily New York bagel (I've never had a New York Bagel; I have a gluten allergy) with jalapeño cream cheese (I am dairy intolerant, cream cheese is out of the question)? How would I get by if not for the bodega on the corner that knows how I take my coffee (with sugar and in my kitchen in the suburbs), and when I'm hungover and need a cigarette to go with my coffee (stolen from my mom's purse, she's disappointed in me).
Nothing can kill the spirit of New York City! (I yell at the framed photo of me and Elmo on my parents' mantlepiece where I live and have lived for 25 years.) The potential each night holds for magic, the feeling you get when you see the skyline (the second time I went to NYC was a bat mitzvah gift to see The Lion King). The toughest people in the world live here (I cried when Mufasa died). The most resilient people (I still have hyena nightmares sometimes), the most talented people (I tried to join my high school theatre department after and they said no thank you). Us New Yorkers, we're just different, better.
The city will resist! We will rebuild and we will be greater than ever (and I won’t have to throw out my New Yorker Tote, or the vague idea of moving there someday, or at least visiting for a third time).