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New York - 101

In the fog created by the financial market implosion last week, the fact that I've come down with some sort of funkiness in my throat (looks like Strep to me), experienced a complete system shut down on Friday evening which left me incapacitated for most of the weekend, and am still hating this cat who lives in my house (my son --- a former fan --- asked me to get rid of it this morning), I didn't realize I surpassed my 100th post on MakesMeWannaHoller.

Thus and so on and forth, I'd like to dedicate my 101st post to New York City, the Big Apple, the Rotten Apple, the Big City of Dreams that snatched me from the bosom of the Windy City and never let go. The place of neon kits and boomin' systems in the nineties. The place where I saw people who made records walking down the street, shopping for shoes where I shopped, looking at artwork, or eating in the same restaurants as me (Busta Rhymes, Nas & Jill Scott, to name a few). I didn't know what a woman was until I met a New York City chick, then Latina chicks, then West Indian women, then Brooklyn sistas, then back to the chicks...in da Bronx where the One who shares my life (a West Indian woman who sometimes appears to be a Latina, but is definitely a New York City chick) discovered me wandering around 34th Street on my lunch break.

New York is the city I hate for the crowds, but the city I love because it's so alive. The plays on Broadway are a delight to be treasured, Alvin Ailey is the stuff of wonder, authors, singers, performers --- I've seen quite a few up close and personal (Sitting front and center before a certain former Destiny's Child lead singer made me dispense with my hatred of her and fall in love). The jazz scene, the lounge scene, the Village scene, the club scene just wouldn't have been the same had I experienced them anywhere but here. In the days after 9/11 I journeyed down to Ground Zero and cried when I saw the smoking pile of rubble stand taller than the apartment building I was living in at the time. In New York you see things you won't see anywhere on this planet and the thing people outside of New York understand the least about us is that it seems we take it all for granted.

But we don't. I don't and never have. New York isn't for the weary or the faint of heart. And if your eyes are open you can see that there are two New Yorks, and if you look hard enough you'll prefer blindness. Some have much. Many have nothing. If NYC doesn't make you stronger, or push you out of it's borders, it'll kill you and move on as if you never ever mattered. In order for a love affair to work you have to know all the nuances and I know New York loves and hates me as much as I do it. For now, this is why we work well together. NYC will always be a part of me (especially fashion-wise) and like Chicago I will take it with me wherever I go, should I go, when I go.

New York City took the timid little boy that I was and sculpted me into the man, dad, husband, son-in-law that I am today. It wasn't an easy process, and it definitely wasn't without pain. But I'm better for it.

New York, New York, Big City of Dreams...

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