The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quixotic, Concrete, and Everything In Between (#atozchallenge)




“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”

― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby on Manhattan


Queensborough Bridge and Midtown Manhattan
Queensborough Bridge and Midtown Manhattan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Corner NYC
Corner NYC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Midtown Manhattan from Liberty Harbor in Weeha...
Midtown Manhattan from Liberty Harbor in Weehawken New Jersey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Diverse City:  Quixotic, Concrete, and Everything in Between

        Manhattan is the city of dreams and harsh reality.  It's a place where idealism converges fundamental realism.  The tough and the gentle.  Cold and sentimental.  Manhattan is the embodiment of city life in the United States.  Name a city in America and one of the top ten answers will be New York City.  It's very probable that the "Big Apple" will be the number one answer.  Yeah, the Big Apple--New York, New York.   That's Manhattan to youse guys.

         "What Does Manhattan Say to You?" was the question that I asked back in January.  The answers were many.   Manhattan said a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  Here are a few of those answers:

  1. 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.
    1. Sherry Ellisused her imagination to bring the city to life in her mind:  
    2. I have never been to Manhattan, but when I hear the word, I think of a bustling place, rich with people, activities, and art.
    3. Jamie Dorner remembered:
    4. I love watching the sunrise at Rockefeller Center. Of my many Manhattan memories, that's my favorite. The city that never sleeps takes long periods of "just resting my eyes." I've got a few pics from a trip a decade ago.
    5. Cathy Kennedy is another who relies on her mind's eye to see the city:
    6. 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.
    7. And finally there were some observations from Stephen T. McCarthy who co-hosts the bimonthly Battle of the Bands
    8. Here's what I think of when I hear the word "Manhattan"...
    • The song which was the inspiration for the Francis Ford Coppola movie  'ONE FROM THE HEART'. (Catch that first sentence.)
    • I hate the Yankees.
    • I hate the Mets a wee bit less.
  2. That's all the word "Manhattan" makes me think of.

  3. Well... one more thing...

  4. 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.)


       Thanks Stephen T McCarthy!   Love it!   As always you add some unique twists.  I would have never thought of the chocolate bunny angle.  But come to think of it I had a similar experience in Toronto one Easter back in the 1980's so I totally relate to this story.   Sometimes it's not easy to find a chocolate bunny when you really crave one. 

          If someone asked you to name a city in the U.S, what would likely be your first answer?   If you were vacationing in Manhattan what would be the main things you would want to see?   Have you ever craved something and couldn't find it right away?    
     

47 comments:

  1. Hi Lee.
    You already know what I think of when I hear the name Manhattan. Just popped in to say Hi and wish you blessings in your most hectic month April.
    Manhattan: Subway, pedestrians, hot dog carts, CSI.
    What can I syy other than have fun and be blessed, Geoff.

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    1. Geoff, thank you for your contribution to my series under the letter "O". This A to Z theme has been fun for me.

      Lee

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  2. I'd probably say San Francisco. If we went to Manhattan it would be the galleries, museums, and Central Park. Also I'd want to got to Greenwich Village and the Algonquin. Ha! I'm so predictable. As to your last question I live in a village of 500 in an isolated part of Canada's north. Uh...yes! Right now I'm craving Montreal bagels which are better than the New York variety!

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    1. Jan, SF is a well-known city with iconic imagery. Your predictability is understandable as what you want to see is what most people would want to see. I've never had Montreal bagels, but I can imagine that city would have some good bakeries.

      Lee

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    2. I'm going to send you some this summer. I am.

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    3. Sounds good! But how fresh would they be by the time I got them? Maybe I should go there.

      Lee

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  3. I'd also say San Francisco, or maybe Boston. Or Seattle or Portland (OR).

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    1. JoJo, I think we will often think of a city that we live in, have lived in, or one that lures us most. Probably timing would have something to do with it.

      Lee

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  4. Manhattan...it's the people! Whenever I go back, I once again fit in. My personality is home. New Yorkers may be a lot of things, but trait is they speak what's on their mind. I've always said, never ask a New Yorker for their opinion...because they'll give it to you straight with no apologies. And Montreal bagels better Jan? Hard to believe. Maybe one day I'll find out.

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    1. Em, I'd rather have honesty than have someone beat around the bush or be disingenuous with me. Yeah, I'm not sure about that bagel verdict. I don't recall if I ever had a bagel in Manhattan, but I've had some darn good ones in New Jersey.

      Lee

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  5. Great to read as always Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, you are always a loyal visitor here and I thank you for that.

      Lee

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  6. First city I would think of is Milwaukee, if I was corrected and told to think of a big city, I would probably say Chicago. Sorry, I'm a mid-west boy. But if I had to list the top 10, I think New York would probably be in the list. Not sure I'd say Manhattan right away.

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    1. Jeffrey, I would probably tend to say the city where I lived or whatever I was thinking at the time. I might say Maryville, TN and if corrected that it was just a small town and not a city then I might say Knoxville, TN. Maybe I'd say that, but then maybe not.

      Lee

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    1. Nicola, I wish I could say that I took the photos, but they were recommended to this post by Zemanta. I used these because they looked so cool.

      Lee

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  8. San Francisco. I've spent time there and love the city. If I were vacationing in Manhattan I'd be sure (this time) to get the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I'd also want to visit the museums, like the MET and MOMA and so many others. I'd probably have to move there to be able to see them all... but I won't. It's too expensive to live there!

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    1. Bish, SF has been a popular answer. I haven't spent much time there but I'd like to go for a return visit sometimes. Actually I read some reports that say that SF is the most expensive city in the U.S. in which to live.

      Lee

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  9. Since I live close to S.F. I'd probably go there as a first choice and because I know it pretty well. I always get lost in N.Y. Yet the two cities are both exciting. Their energy is very different, so it's nice to be able to enjoy each as separate, but equally fun places.

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    1. C.Lee, getting lost can be an adventure, but it could also be frightening and frustrating.

      Lee

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  10. All cities have a pulse and thrum to them. The thing about NYC is that it's loud. Even someone who isn't in tune with much can feel the pulse and hum of this city. I live in Jacksonville, also a city. It doesn't pulse or hum. Though, it does have a nice breeze a good bit of the time. That's something.

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    1. Robin, NYC is undoubtedly loud, but I don't remember that aspect. Maybe I was so focused on other things the noise was just part of the background. A nice breeze can be very refreshing. We often get a nice breeze where I live--especially as the sun is going down which can be very welcome after a hot sunny afternoon.

      Lee

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  11. I'm glad you liked my small contribution, LEE.

    Two things kind of tripped me out upon my first visit to Manhattan in 1983:

    1: That first subway ride. It was the first time I'd ever been in a subway (I was used to traveling ABOVE the city, on L.A. freeways). And I thought it was really neat, like I had stepped into a movie - 'DEATH WISH' perhaps, as I knew and loved that one.

    I thought it was weird how all the lights in the subway cars would blink off and on as we traveled across different tracks or connecting points.

    2: It was my buddy Eric, attending art school in N.Y., who picked me up that night at the airport. When we emerged from the subway, I had no idea WHERE in the city we were, but there were all these old brownstone buildings facing each other and people sitting on the stoops. Again, I felt like I'd stepped into some old movie because it looked just like I'd seen in countless old films.

    Eric, with his long blonde hair, put my suitcase on his skateboard and rolled it down the street with me at his side. And I was thinking how much HE looked like a Californian, and I looked more like the New Yorker, with short dark hair and a black leather jacket. Ha!

    Later that same year, or early the next, Eric graduated from art school and was moving back to Los Angeles. I flew into NYC so we could drive cross-country back to L.A. together in his little VW Bug. And of the many I've taken, that was THE BEST "Road Trip" I ever had. It was about 12-14 days of pure adventure!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, funny how being in NYC can feel kind of like being in a movie. I guess it's because we've seen the images so often on film. That road trip sounds great. Ours have never been more than 8 days, but still they were great adventures. This year our trip back from NJ might be closer to 10 days or so.

      Lee

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  12. LOL Stephen. Manhanattan is so well known and interpreted in different ways.

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    1. Sheena-kay, everyone who has been there or even just knows something about the city has a story to tell or an outlook to express.

      Lee

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  13. Tombstone! A couple of years ago I craved a 50/50 Orange bar (a childhood favorite), I'm still looking for an Orange bar;-)

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    1. Diedre, you are among the few who would probably name Tombstone first! I was there many years ago, but I'd like to go back again.

      Lee

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    2. Ha! I have a "TOMBSTONE TALE" to tell, too!

      Circa 1990, I was there with girlfriend - "The Countess" - and she decided she wanted a piece of fudge from the fancy fudge shop. (Not sure if it's still there.)

      I can no longer remember what caused all the trouble - there were multiple issues, like a "fudgesterf##k"! - and just buying a simple piece of fudge was turning into an all-day affair. All through no fault of my girlfriend.

      I reached my limit at one point and told The Countess I'd be waiting outside (hoping Doc Holliday would come along and put me out of my misery).

      She finally, after what seemed like years, emerged from the shop. I can't remember if she had finally given up on getting the fudge, or if she managed to get it and then decided it wasn't very good. But either way, it was a let-down after all that.

      That trip we were all over parts of of Arizona, and I later named it "SNIFFY'S DAMNED-GERMAN FUDGE FIASCO TRAIL-BLAZE". All of that relating to events during the trip.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  14. This is a toughie for me, because I really don't like cities at all. The one that comes to mind is San Diego.

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    1. Pat, San Diego is a nice city. I lived there from 1959 to 1963 when the city was much smaller than it is now.

      Lee

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  15. I've never really visited New York City. I was at a weekend conference there some years ago (I still remember the white-knuckled taxi drive from the airport to the hotel), but I didn't get much chance to explore. Other than that, it's simply been a flight stop over on the way to elsewhere. One day... :)

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    1. Colin, you need to make a pleasure trip someday and take some time for some sights.

      Lee

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  16. Manhattan has been so iconic for such a long time that when i first visited it in 2010 I was breathless with excitement, embarrassing my college going, NYU daughter with my enthusiasm. I've returned again and again, with no change in my eagerness. Love your posts Arlee.

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    1. Kalpanaa, thank you! There's so much in Manhattan that there is always something new to discover and amaze. I think your eagerness is admirable--it shows a zest for life.

      Lee

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  17. Houston would likely be my first answer, because for the last 11 years I've lived in the shadows of it. I do not like to go there. I do not like big cities at all. I think a lot about how much longer it will be before Houston is here at my back door.

    If I were going to Manhattan, I would want to visit the Macy's featured in Miracle on 34th Street and walk down 34th Street, knowing that some of my favorite actors had walked there, too.

    On the craving question...yes! I have been pregnant and cravings and not having immediate access to a remedy is all part of the package. With our first child, my husband had to drive about 20 or so miles, in the middle of the night, and pay a restaurant manager $20+ just to open up the place and fire up the fryer because nobody was going to get any sleep if I didn't get what I *needed*. For whatever reason, I had an insatiable craving for fried chicken livers when I was pregnant the first time. One thing is certain, I never had any iron deficiency during that pregnancy. :)

    Have a blessed evening!

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    1. Suzanne, I think the natural answer for anyone regarding naming a city would be the city in which they live or the closest one. My first answer would likely be Los Angeles. Houston is a sprawling place and still growing. That's a good economic indicator I suppose.

      My present wife says she craved the olive brine from green olives when she was pregnant. The way I get cravings one my think I was pregnant sometimes.

      Lee

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  18. Nicely done! I want to name a town Hope. I know it sounds silly, but I love the idea of visiting and mailing postcards from Hope.
    Yes, I crave Whoopie Pies and live in the wrong part of the country to find them-so, I have to make them~

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    1. Ella, I know I've been in at least one town named Hope, maybe more. It does sound like a pleasant name. Whoopie Pies? That's a new one for me. Not sure what that is, but I'll bet they're good.

      Lee

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  19. Love the second photo! (Corner NYC): Wow, Great perspective!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I thought it looked pretty great too which is why I wanted to use it.

      Lee

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  20. These days I tend to think of Denver first because it's the nearest big city. Even then, I'm woefully slow in taking advantage of all it has to offer. As far as Manhattan is concerned, I think I saw all I wanted to see there in my one trip during the 80s. I'm really not a big city person.

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    1. Patricia, nearest city makes sense. I'd like to go back to Denver to take in more. We can never see everything a city has to offer as there are always new things going on and new things being added.

      Lee

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  21. I have visited and the first thing I wanted to see were the art museums which I did. I went to the Cloisters and then to the Metropolitan. I also went on the hunt to some book stores which I love doing. I have to admit I am not one for the Asphalt jungle. I prefer towns with a lot of green. Oh I have been on the hunt for something and couldn't find it...usually chocolate related

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    1. Birgit, I have a preference for small towns but sometimes cities can have some pretty cool things to offer.

      Lee

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  22. As a European, the first US city I think of is New York, of course, even though I've been to many others. And since I usually went to NYC for the theatre, the first thing I'd do now is to check what's on and who's in it and whether I can get tickets (if I haven't already). I still haven't done MOMA, so that's on the list, and I'd like to hang out a few old favourite places - but most of all meet up with my new friends in midtown, who've been to see me, but I haven't been to see them at home yet. And their parrots. With my ear-plugs!
    Jemima Pett

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    1. Jemima, sounds like you've got everything organized for your city visits.

      Lee

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Lee