The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, January 11, 2016

What Does "Manhattan" Say To You?

Français : L'île de Manhattan vue d'hélicoptère.
Photo by: Clément Bardot  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


      Today I want to try something a bit different.  This will mostly require your help.  I'll explain my plan and let you take it from there if you're willing to do so.

        What I'm referring to is a future project here at Tossing It Out.  Bear with me--I assure you that there is some semblance of method to my madness all to be revealed at a later date.  The success of the outcome of this project will depend to some extent on your response to what I'm asking.  If there is no or not enough response from my readers then I'll be on my own.   Either way this project will happen with or without you.

          It's simple really.   Or complex if you'd like to go in that direction.  It's free form.  Or structured if that is what you prefer.  It's now--or it's later if you need some time to think.  We've got some time.  This project will occur in a few months, but I hope to get most of my input before then so I can organize everything properly.

          Are you ready?  Here it is:

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "Manhattan"?

           It's a word like a magic breath.  For some it invokes a place or even a history.  Or is it more than that to you?  Maybe it's something rather than someplace.  I want to hear your story about "Manhattan".  Perhaps you can write a story with "Manhattan" as the theme.  Or write a poem--Manhattan is a poetic sounding word don't you think?  Simply give me your impression of the word as a vision appears in your mind inspired by that word.

          Leave your thoughts in the comment section if they aren't too long.  Write a post on your own blog and send me the link to it.  If you've already done a Manhattan themed post sometime in the past then send me the link to that.  Write me a guest post that I can use when my project begins to appear.


           I'll use anything you provide me in the comment section or that you send me otherwise.  Once I have all comments and other contributions assembled, they will appear on Tossing It Out as a special event series over many days and I will link to your blog or use other links that you'd like me to use.   You can consider my request to be a prompt to be used for a writing exercise, a challenge, or an opportunity to get your blog link and name out to a wider audience.

           So send me something if you'd like.  My email can be found in the "Post a Comment" disclaimer section below.  Or leave your comment with your word association based on "Manhattan".   If you even just leave me a sentence in reference to "Manhattan", I'll turn it into a complete post and give you credit for it.   I want to hear about "Manhattan".   Tell me something, anything and you will have a future spot in my special project.

            Daft--perhaps.  I may have to make this up as I go.   Hope you'll make this easier for me by providing me inspiration from your mind.



           

82 comments:

  1. Manhattan, New York, big city... That's about it this early in the morning.

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    1. Alex, Manhattan early in the morning can be a bustling place.

      Lee

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  2. For a kid living in an Air Force town in Georgia, it was the promise land, full of adventure, learning and a glamorous life.

    I never made it to Manhattan except on vacation to see the Rockettes at Radio Music Hall. I rode a bus, subway and ate an overpriced sandwich which was very good.

    It still holds the dream for anyone who was born wanting to write or create. I try not to think too hard of the reality of not having a place to live or being able to afford life there. I will not get started about my country come to town presence not gelling with NYC.

    We all need our dreams. How real or likely they are to happen is irrelevant.

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    1. Ann, the place does hold a magical mythical lore for so many. I don't see how people manage to live there on a low or average income, but many do.

      Lee

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  3. Frenetic, loud, harsh, crowded, traffic, urban canyon (cause no sunlight reaches the streets). Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy.

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    1. JoJo, great images to describe that gritty side depicted in so many films. I like that phrase "urban canyon".

      Lee

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  4. When I think of Manhattan I almost immediately remember the time I spent there in the summer of 1967. For a teenager from a tiny island, it was awesome. Went to the Empire State Building, the Cloisters, Lincoln Center, took the ferry to Staten Island, drank "virgin" drinks at Cafe Wha? and listened to a band - who knows who? Friends and I stood on a street corner, stared up and pointed until we had a crowd around. Ate at my first Greek restaurant. Saw an off Broadway show about Jelly Roll Morton.

    It was noisy and dirty and the smog was so thick that from the top of Empire State Building the streets below were almost invisible. I have pictures.

    It was the time of my life. Except for one brief overnight on my way to somewhere else, I've never been back. Though if I had the opportunity/money, I just might.

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    1. Bish, what a fantastic memory. I can imagine how exciting it must have been for you to have spent a summer there as a teen. Manhattan has a lure, but it can be an expensive destination.

      Lee

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  5. Hi Lee - I think of Chase Manhattan ... Stephen Tremp's hero in his trilogy ... Breakthrough .... and the land of high-rises ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, brilliant! I may have to contact Stephen regarding this angle.

      Lee

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  6. The first thing I think of is a friend who use to live there. --then I think of the drink though I've never had one.

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    1. HR, I don't think I've ever had a Manhattan drink either though it's a really old school mixed drink. I had (or maybe still have) a cousin who was an artist and lived there since the 40's. I talked to him on the phone a few years ago, but the only time I met him was when I was a kid.

      Lee

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  7. I was born in NYC, so Manhattan was just one of the five boroughs making up the city I lived in. But as I grew up, Manhattan became the magical place where stars appeared on Broadway. Where lights twinkled as brightly as the stars in the sky. Where high finance ruled the world from Wall Street. People think Manhattan is New York City. Woody Allen's movies helped form this perception. They never take place in Queens or Brooklyn or the Bronx or Staten Island.

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    1. Karen, it's a place of dreams, stories, and myth. No wonder so many stories have taken place there.

      Lee

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  8. Hi, Lee!

    What immediately came to my mind was an old government TV spot for the federal domestic volunteer agency ACTION which I remember only as "I'll take Manhattan - you'll take Afghanistan." To refresh my memory, I googled it and found this exchange posted a few weeks after the 9-11 terror attacks. You might be interested in using excerpts:

    http://www.subgenius.com/bigfist/FIST2001-2/WAR4/X0020_Anyone_remember_this.html

    Thanks, Lee!

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    1. Shady, yes this is kind of bizarre. I don't know what they're talking about but it is kind of curious. I'll have to explore this a bit.

      Lee

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  9. I think if noise and crowds when I think of any city. On the other hand, my late mother-in-law always drank a Manhattan right after breakfast and then pretty much sipped on them throughout the day. I don't think I ever saw her when she wasn't a little bit drunk.

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    1. Susan GK, that drink came to my mind as well. I've heard of them all of my life and have no idea what exactly this drink is. Your MIL could be the makings of an interesting character.

      Lee

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  10. First thing that enters my ind is "small island, many big buildings." Happy New Year, Arlee! :)

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    1. David, yes, many many big buildings confined to a very condensed space.

      Lee

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  11. the first thing that fell upon my mind is that new TV series MANHATTAN :) on building the first atomic bomb in USA :(

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    1. Dezmond, oh yes, I recall hearing about this. Might be right up my alley.

      Lee

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  12. I guess when I think of Manhattan, I think of the city and how crowded it probably is and how I wouldn't want to deal with all those people.

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    1. Patricia, it's probably not as crowded as cities like Bejing I guess, but I'm sure it can get very crowded.

      Lee

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  13. Replies
    1. L.Diane, I thought of this film this morning. Thanks for mentioning it. I actually can't recall if I ever saw this or not, but I'm sure I must have.

      Lee

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  14. Well, right now I'm hungry so a nice gravy-drowned Turkey Manhattan sounds good. If you'd have done this on the weekend, I might have reminisced about how long it's been since I've drank a manhattan. But if you want it limited to the borough, I might be at a loss, having never been there. First thing would be Lisa Douglas looking off her balcony singing, "Darling I love you, forgive me Park Avenue." After that I get a chunk of the country song Manhattan, Kansas. After that, I get a visual on Spider Man. Bet that was a lot of help.

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    1. CW, I'm curious about the Turkey Manhattan--never heard of that. Gosh, and forgot about Manhattan, KS--I played there on a few of my road tours. You really put forth some different ideas here. This is what I'm looking for. Let me know if you have more or want to do a guest spot on my blog--promotion for yours you know..

      Lee

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    2. First off... http://www.food.com/recipe/turkey-manhattan-243845 will spell that one out.

      I don't mind trying a guest spot- I did one for another friend whose blog was down due to the c-section delivery of twins. Hopefully you won't be at that extreme, but if you ever have a subject in mind that you think I can give you a hit with, let me know.

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  15. It's the history of the name, Manhattan, that comes to mind. I've read that it comes from Algonquian and means either a hilly island or the place of intoxication. I suppose the latter could be interpreted in a positive light. Manhattan is very beautiful, very intoxicating, as cities go.

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    1. C.Lee, I think the historical angle is a good one since the name is as you say from Algonquian origin. I like "place of intoxication"--very befitting as you described.

      Lee

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  16. Black ties and pillbox hats with matching handbags. Delicious aromas wafting from nearly every doorway, Publishers, Symphonies and Art Galleries. Always busy, lots of pomp. :-) But that was long ago.
    Clever idea, Arlee!

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    1. Diedre, you make it sound so elegant, but from old films it does seem like that's what Manhattan was like. Of course their is also the gritty film noir side that we sometimes see. It's such an amazingly diverse place.

      Lee

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  17. Lee, I have not been to Manhattan, but the first things that come to mind in no particular order are skyscrapers, city lights, the privileged, and crime. I think it would be an interesting place to visit someday. I'll watch for future posts regarding this prompt. Have a good day!

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    1. Cathy, I've been there a few times from 1956 until a few years ago. Each time there were new impressions. I'd like to go back and spend more time as my visits have always been rushed and inadequate even though I did see a lot. So much more to see.

      Lee

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  18. Having grown up so close to NYC (Philly), a lot of images come to mind.

    However, my most vivid images are of St. Mark's Place in the east village, where I would venture to four of five times each year for a CD buying excursion. The stores are gone now, but the block had about eight different stores that would usually yield more treasures than I had any business spending money on.

    The day would usually start at J&R Music World on Park Row, across from the World Trade Center.

    My last trip there was on Friday, September 8, 2001, I believe the same day Ryan Adams filmed his "New York" music video. Sadly, the lower triangle's landscape changed forever a few days later, and that was my last trip to J&R. The village stores closed over the next few years, and now I find my CD's on the internet.

    But I miss those days spent browsing. I had a good friend (Kent) who was also an avid collector, although my collection eclipsed his when his priorities got screwed up and he had offspring.

    I had a job offer in Manhattan at the same time as I took the transfer to Arizona, and I still do not regret it. In my twenties, I would have loved the city life, but by that time, I'd spent ten years on the road (as an auditor) and was ready for a quieter life.

    Still a great place to visit, though.

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    1. Larry, great story! I'll use what you wrote and add some of my own thoughts to this. It'll be a few months before it appears so keep an eye out. I miss record browsing days as well--I used to do a lot of it.

      Lee

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  19. Manhattan to me is home sweet home. Born and raised in the great City. Like no other place in the world. And home, or course, to some of the best Chinese restaurants on the planet! :)

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    1. Mee, I was going to contact you about a Manhattan Chinese restaurant guest post! I'll bet you've got some good places to talk about.

      Lee

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  20. Manhattan...cavernous, lonely, restless. Those are first words that came to mind. You certainly have me wondering what you are up to.

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    1. Patricia, funny how such a busy populated place can feel "lonely". It's the story of modern society in many ways.

      Lee

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  21. I hear the song by Rogers and Hart..."I'll take Manhattan..." sung by Mickey Rooney in a biopic about Hart but I also hear Fred Astaire who is so debonair:) There is a certain amount of class to this place in NYC. I half expect to see Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dancing in Central Park

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    1. Birgit, yes that song has been playing in my head along with many others. Ah yes, and "Dancing in the Dark" from The Band Wagon. So many great movies that take place in Manhattan.

      Lee

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  22. Off the top of my head:
    Manhattan is a cocktail comprised of Canadian whiskey, sweet vermouth a dash of Angostura bitters and a maraschino cherry for garnish. I drank many of these in my younger days. It was my favourite. ☺

    ALSO:
    Manhattan, borough of New York City: Sophisticated, urban, Broadway, skyscrapers, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Eva Gabor (from "Green Acres": ♫ New York is where I'd rather stay. I get allergic smelling hay. I just adore a penthouse view. Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue. ♫)
    I've never been there, but it's on the bucket list.

    As for your project, let me mull it over for awhile. Sounds interesting!

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    1. Debbie D, with such good ideas in this comment I'll be calling on you for help.

      Lee

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  23. Here's what I think of when I hear the word "Manhattan"...

    1:
    2 ounces of rye whiskey
    1 ounce of vermouth
    2 dashes of Angostura bitters
    1 Cocktail glass, and me

    2:
    The song which was the inspiration for the Francis Ford Coppola movie (Link:->) 'ONE FROM THE HEART'. (Catch that first sentence.)

    3:
    I hate the Yankees.

    4:
    I hate the Mets a wee bit less.

    That's all the word "Manhattan" makes me think of.

    Well... one more thing...

    5:
    It's damned difficult to find a chocolate bunny in Manhattan on Easter Sunday! And if you do find one, they'll gouge you on the price! (But you'll buy it anyway because... well... Easter, chocolate bunny.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, Love it! As always you add some unique twists. I would have never thought of the chocolate bunny angle.

      Lee

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    2. Thanks, LEE.

      And by the way, for the record, the "Manhattan" is not one of my favorite drinks. However, if my choices are "Manhattan" or nothing... I'll take "Manhattan".
      [;o)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. I've never had a Manhattan, but now I'm tempted to go to a bar and order one.

      Lee

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  24. Hi Lee.
    Never been to Manhattan but the first thought that came to mind was an alleyway between brown brick buildings with a fenced off entrance and a waste skip next to a wall. Then immediately the image of a garbage barge full to the brim. It got me to wondering what they do with all the trash generated by so many people daily.
    The next thing that came to mind was that strange street scene with the triangular building featured in so many movies. Having read through the comment section I realized just how little I know about this bustling financial metropolis.
    Good idea, I'll read your posts if you get it off the ground but can only contribute by writing posts about African cities, places I've been to. Maybe London and Dublin as well.
    Blessings my friend, Geoff.

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    1. Geoff, the inner workings of big cities are fascinating to me as well. An amazing feat taking care of all that garbage. I've heard that it's hauled off on barges, but I don't recall where it goes. This would be an interesting topic to investigate.
      I know that building you're talking about--I think it's called the Flatiron Building.

      No problem about the contribution as you have already given me some great ideas that are percolating in my head.

      Lee

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  25. I read your post in my email, and was already singing Birdland (The Manhattan Transfer version) before I got to the comment request. I might have thought something else if I'd come to the blog and seen the photo first, though.

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    1. Jemima, Manhattan Transfer is a wonderful group. Birdland is a legendary nightclub in Manhattan and that could be a very good topic to explore.

      Lee

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  26. When I hear "Manhattan," I think of NYC in the fall of 1984 when I was there for computer software training. I had never been to NYC before, and I had a little time off from work, so I went to the top of one of the World Trade Center towers. I will never forget that day, and I will probably never go up in a building that tall again.

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    1. Patricia, that sounds memorable indeed. In 1984 I didn't even know what computer software was and home computers were kind of a rarity I guess. Those were pioneering days of computing.

      Lee

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  27. When I hear the word Manhattan, the first thing I think about is Sex and the City. I love how the city was portrayed in that show and how it was a character in the story just as much as any of the actors. When I see Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte meeting up for breakfast to talk about their love lives or glamming up for a night out on the town, I so want to live there, even if for a short time.
    I've only been to Manhattan a few times but I remember fondly the times that I was there. I remember being shell-shocked at the sheer number of people on the streets when I emerged from Grand Central Station. I remember walking through Central Park.
    When I hear Manhattan, I think of the night I spent laughing my ass off in a comedy club as the comedians poked fun at New Yorkers (especially the cab drivers) and flirting with the drummer there. I remember seeing Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd on Broadway. I remember going to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and bar-hopping. That was the night I met the guy who was the baby featured in a classic TV commercial (which I can't think of right this second).
    I can see why Manhattan is often referred to as the greatest city in the world. It has a lure that calls me sometimes...and one of these days I just may answer that call...

    Fun project Lee!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, those are some great sounding memories for having just visited a few times. If not the greatest, it is one of the greatest cities in the world.

      Lee

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  28. I have never been there. I do remember my dad talking about going through there when he was in the army. He was going to West Germany and in the 60's they took a truck to New York and got on a boat to go over there. He said it was dirty and smelled. Garbage laying all over.

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    1. Ruth, my dad never talked about going to Manhattan although a few years ago--over 20 years after his death--I found an old photo of him and some buddies on a night out in NYC.

      Lee

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  29. Manhattan... overall I love Manhattan! I've been multiple times; it helps living in the state, as I've also been to Niagara Falls multiple times (it really helps living in the middle of the state). Back in '09 I worked in Manhattan for 3 months and, other than where I was working (in Harlem, 125th St), I loved every single day of being there. I rarely ate at the same place more than once; what a good time I had!

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    1. Mitch, great experience to have worked in the city. Three of my daughters live in Jersey about an hour from the city. Last time I went to Manhattan was on a visit to them and I'm sure we'll go again eventually. So many places to eat and so little time.

      Lee

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  30. I have never been to Manhattan, but when I hear the word, I think of a bustling place, rich with people, activities, and art.

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    1. Sherry, I don't think anyone in the U.S. hasn't heard of Manhattan and thinks of it in the same way that you do.

      lee

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  31. Yeah... Manhattan brings back memories--little kids, bumper-car parking, brighter lights than Vegas, tourism, statue of liberty, chinatown, amazing food, and smoke. You can't get away from the smoking in NYC. Ever.

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    1. Crystal, hard to out-bright Vegas lights. I could spend a fortune in Manhattan just eating in restaurants.

      Lee

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  32. Manhattan.

    Hmmm...considering the last time I was in NY State was some eight or nine years ago and the last time I was in NYC was my sophomore year of high school, Manhattan doesn't really mean that much to me. Except I get a strong does of sadness whenever I see old t.v. shows that feature the WTC in the opening montage (i.e. Barney Miller and the Billy Ray Cyrus show called "Doc").

    I Are Writer!

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    1. GB, and you're pretty close to there aren't you? I know what you're saying about seeing the Twin Towers. I watched the movie The Walk this past week-end and it made me feel sad to think about the WTC.

      Lee

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  33. The first thing that comes to my mind is: Movies. That's the only way I've experienced Manhattan myself.

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    1. Loni, you're probably in a majority. As many people who have actually been to Manhattan are likely vastly outnumbered by those who have only experienced the city vicariously through movies and media.

      Lee

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  34. Hi Lee -

    What comes to mind first is the borough of New York City. Not the drink, since I don't drink! I've been to Manhattan twice, once earlier this year for a touristy visit that included restaurants, jazz clubs down in Greenwich Village, Central Park, and the Metropolitan opera. The music was great... the glitz and crowds, not so much.

    But I'd say what comes to mind first is my 1st trip there in 1974 when I was 19 years old. Four girls, my room mate and I made a cross-country trip from San Diego to Boston and back, which included a one-day jaunt into Manhattan. By the time we got to NYC we had picked up another girl, also. We had two vehicles: a 1968 VW Beetle, and my dad's propane powered pickup truck. As we were heading for the Holland Tunnel we saw a sign that said propane bottles were not allowed in the tunnel. Since I was carrying 200 gallons (!!!) of propane, we had to park the truck on a side street and ALL SEVEN of us piled into the VW and made the trip thru the tunnel for an afternoon of visiting Manhattan. The only person without a girl on their lap was the driver! It was a "trip," man!

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    1. SBB6, sounds like a "hippie excursion". What a memory!

      Lee

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  35. Have not heard Manhanttan in a long time. Just thought some place in America. Then I thought deeper and came up with Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. Jamaicans are deep like that.

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    1. Sheena-kay, interesting addition. I'm not really familiar with Watchmen or Dr. Manhattan. I may have to check that one out.

      Lee

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  36. Manhattan - reaching for the stars -

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    1. Susan, "reaching for the stars" sounds poetic.

      Lee

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  37. Hi Arlee! Hope it's not too late to weigh in on this one! We just went to Manhattan for the first time, and I wrote a post about it, here: https://fortyandfantastique.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4548&action=edit

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    1. Great! I'll probably be contacting you about this. Let me check out your post.

      Lee

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  38. Thanks for that! I'm very excited to see what you come up with for this project! I think I'm a little bit in love with Manhattan. :-)

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  39. I did miss this post. Gah. I'm having a tough time keeping up on the blogging these days.

    I think the post I just wrote (that you commented on) would work well in this series... if you like it. I give you permission to reprint it on your blog. I'm only going to be in NYC for two years with my soundtrack posts. The one I just wrote will be the most generic Manhattan one I anticipate doing (I think). However, if one comes along before I leave NYC, and you like it better for this, just let me know. I'm thrilled to contribute to your project!

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  40. It's home to me since October 1975. I never thought I'd stay, but I love it.

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    1. Carol Z, you obviously found something in the city that kept you there. Great testimony to the merits of living in Manhattan.

      Lee

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Lee