Wednesday, 15 October 2014

New York, New York


A Twitter friend (now here’s a term worth exploring!) published her Central Park wedding photo on Instagram. New York weddings for an Australian are obviously a special affair, but if you care to look at the photo you would see the wedding was special in at least one other way: it was a gay wedding. Isn’t New York special?
As it happens, New York has special meaning to me, too. I’ve touched it before, how this Tel Aviv boy’s visit to New York opened my eyes. New York was the place my father and I climbed all the way up the Statue of Liberty (all knees involved in the proceedings hurt for a week; steep stairs). New York is where my father and I shared a hotel room just opposite the Chrysler Building, with that most wonderful of buildings glimmering for our pleasure every morning. And New York was where my father and I took the lift up to the top of the Twin Towers, a lift remembered for counting floors in tens and making me feel, for a minute, as if I was an astronaut. I have many quarrels with the 11 September terrorists, but taking down this venue of personal importance, the building I probably looked up to the most (pun intended), is right there at the top.
I can’t speak for my friend, but it does seem to me as if New York had fulfilled a similar role for her as it did me. For both of us New York was a place we came to visit in order to achieve the impossible, after which we came back to the real world. This child returned to the backwater that Israel was at the time, while my friend returned to a country that does not grant her equal rights. And now, in my thoughts, I just came back from a city where I still have a father.