When you've lived your life in one place, or in nearly one place, for as long as I've lived in New York, every day, every walk down every block is a walk through time.
Today I walked down 13th Street between 2nd and 3rd, wearing a too-thin-for-the-cold-jacket just as I wore when I was a college student here. Then it was because I was too poor, having left my parents with literally the clothes on my back. Now, I'm too stubborn (or too stupid) to feel. Or too thick-blooded to let on that anything less than a cold wind off the Steppes could bother me.
It was early, like it was 40 years ago when I walked down this street, and I was rushing somewhere--where doesn't matter. 40 years ago I passed only old people, clomping their way to stupid jobs, stupid have-to-dos. Today, I passed only young people, smoking cigarettes, holding pastel-colored mugs of too-expensive coffee. I rushed past, like I do, on my way.
When you've lived your life in one place for as long as I've lived in New York, you can find yourself walking down a well-worn street then look around and realize you're in a place you've never been before.
Everything's different. The signs, the dirt, the people, the dreams. And everything's the same. The signs, the dirt, the people, the dreams.
You realize you're like Irving's Van Winkle, or Swift's Gulliver. You wake up where you've always been and it's a completely different place.
It's like that in agencies too.
You've been there before. But the there you were in is no longer.
Like they say, you can't step in the same river twice.
Maybe the same can be said about cities.