Why, in this city that never sleeps, do I always feel at home? I lived here for 9 years in the 80s but that was a long time ago. Still, now as then, I love this town and the way it seems to take me to its heart.
Much has changed. Then it was cheaper, more dangerous, funkier….The likes of me could afford to live here. Today it is very different. Yet much of its unfathomable centre remains unchanged. A friend once described it as ‘….like a big old snake….regularly shedding its skin, but continuing to crawl and slither on…’.
I’m sure I have nothing original to say about it. But it continues to affect me, whether I’m here or not. To me it represents a tumultuous crossroads between the old and the new, a resounding now that includes yesterday and tomorrow, but is bogged down in neither.
In a way I cannot begin to explain, I am more able to be myself here than anywhere I have ever been. This may seem fanciful and sentimental. So be it. I am grateful to the town and its wonderful people for helping me feel this way.
I have been in the US since November 20, and in New York since December 6. I fly home to Cambridge England on Wednesday Jan 5.