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Friday, July 15, 2011

"I Clearly LOVE the Smell of This Poop."

Weeee! I am officially licensed as a New York City Sightseeing Guide!!! No - I am not ready to give you a tour of all of NYC yet. I am so very sorry to disappoint. I am gonna need a second - and a script - of my own or someone else's created. Patience is a virtue. Even when I am ready to give you a tour at the drop of a hat - don't expect me to do it. Much as I only sing on demand for my mother - just because I have a skill- doth not require me to demonstrate it like a dog watching a delectable biscuit in yo' hand. I realize you are just making conversation and that is all you can think of to say - but please don't be disappointed when you don't get the (at least) 24 hour walking tour that would ensue if I really did what you asked. My friend, attempting to quiz me on the eve before my NYC Tour Guide Licensing Exam, asked me "So, who in invented New York?". He was only slightly kidding. Today - when congratulating me on FB he said "So now do you know who invented New York?". And it got me to thinkin'. The depth of my study is wide and varied. While not entirely sufficient - I have a greater understanding of how New York came to be. And like any city - no one person "invented" it - someone may have "discovered" the land and possibly swindled the Native Americans who already lived on it - but no city can be created by one person. I realized my friend was being silly, of course, but I really enjoyed where it has tossed my mind. Through this whole process, while I am no huge fan of studying or taking tests - I have almost entirely enjoyed every second of what I have learned. This is due in most part to the fact that New York has always been made up of those, like myself, who were not actually born here but CHOSE to be here - to follow their dreams, to challenge themselves, to begin again. Anyone who comes to New York and stays - is, most certainly, slightly deranged - and therefore -utterly fascinating. So it has been a wild ride! One of the things I love most was watching the PBS special series "New York, A Documentary Film by Ric Burns" - all 8 DVDs of it. This documentary is interspersed with delicious quotes from the literary geniuses who made New York City their home. Not one to be too immersed in literature - these words were all new to me and really helped me understand what it must have been like to live through all of the intense changes the city has undergone. To read about facts and dates in books is one thing - but to hear the voice of real New Yorkers (the truest definition of which does NOT involve those born here)...is to feel the energy of the city at that time. It made me want to write. It made me wonder where all of our astute observations of our city - and our lives - are now getting recorded - on Facebook statuses. Where will those be for future generations to have access to? We are the ones who are inventing our cities - in this moment. We are who people will be reading about in 100 years - whether or not we make it onto an exam question. It's fun to remember that when you came here to be on Broadway - but this Broadway is an entirely different place than the Broadway you had imagined. It's fun when you find yourself excited to learn as much as you can about the city you have called "Home" for 9 years now in order to become a "Licensed Tour Guide". It's fun to remember that when you are sitting on a subway car that smells like poop. That poop smells the same as it did in 1904 when the subway began. I love this city - and I love that poop. Sort of.