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Post details: New York, New York

New York, New York

There is a Chinese proverb which reads "Heaven doesn't say that it is high". And that's what I like about New York. It doesn't have to claim to be cosmopolitan, because it is. Unlike many wannabe metropolises, New York doesn't stake its claim on worldliness with nervously tapping feet, but rather with its legs kicked high on the table. It doesn't peer into the mirror to see if the worldly jackets fits right, rather it flings it non-chalantly over its shoulder and whistles a dirty French ditty as it saunters down on Broadway.

A friend of mine teaches at Cooper Union so this weekend I got to sink my teeth into the Big Apple again. For our entry point, we chose the Holland Tunnel, whose entrance, as usual, was clogged with a yawning clump of cars digesting the distance just traveled. As we approached the booth, taking a welcome visual relief from the unremitting turnpike view, I noticed a speed measuring gun that was pointed at us and a big display board that was showing our speed: 25, 24, 23,... Strangely as we came to the complete stop, the digits froze at 15. I looked down at the pavement to make sure we were standing still. We were and yet the stubborn board kept clocking us at 15 mph, which frankly is the fastest I have ever been standing. New York can be a strange place and the laws of physics don't get much respect around here.

I suspect that the city treats the laws of physics with the same casual air with which it treats its metropolitan jacket - it flings them right over its shoulder. In this borough you can see kids with tiny bronze rings in their noses selling you gutted butterflies dipped in a saucy simmering substance that you would hesitate pouring into your car's engine, you can hear languages that do not exist anywhere else on the earth, you get to walk through a green dream of a concrete jungle called the Central Park, you will have to squeeze your body into subway cars filled with passengers whose cumulative volume exceeds that of the car itself and of course if you take a long walk south, you will hit the place which has its own set of the Laws of Physics - the Wall Street. That black hole of all reason where financial cowboys saddle the jitters of greed every day and where investment bankers wear hairdos that look like expensive scaffoldings for their mental castles albeit their actual investment advice may be as useful to your financial well-being as 10 lbs of slide rules.

As we were standing at New York's tunelly threshold, still as a frozen doornail, I wondered if my friend stands to get a traffic ticket for standing over the posted speed limit. "I am sorry, Your Honor, I will never ever stand that fast again." But that's just the kind of city New York is - you are on the go even if you are standing.


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