By Elizabeth Parker
As a child growing up in WI I thought New York City was magical. The tree at Rockefeller Center was magnificent in its height and beauty, aglow w/ thousands of bulbs, I was amazed by the myriad decor of the lights of the shop windows and miracles happening on 34th Street. I only had to look at a picture of carolers on the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to hear the hymns swell. I fell in love w/ the City before I ever had my first visit. I had a romanticized vision of New York City at the Holidays.
Here I am, officially a New Yorker as now I’ve been here 4 years. There is a chill in the air, snow is on the ground, the air is fragranced with pine, carolers are singing, the shops are arrayed in brilliance and splendor, every sense is heightened to the season upon us. It is the candy cane and gum drop Holidays.
Or is it? Under the glamorous facade, it’s cold and dirty, we’re in a recession so the windows seem all most profane and mocking in their display of goods. As far as love, New York City has twice as many single people than any other city in the country. What is it about New York that evokes the poetry, prose and song of legendary artists and those that think themselves artists but are legends in their own minds?
New York, not Paris is the most romantic city in the world; Romantic in terms of the fanciful illusions, idealism, and passion for fame, fortune and love. There are times of disillusion, but somehow the energy, the spirit and vigor and the rhythm of the City overwhelms and dances a person back into this fairytale dream.
My favorite holiday song happens to be “Fairy Tale of New York” by Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues. Quintessential New York at the Holidays. The age old story of a pair of dreamers that come to New York with the fantasy of fame, fortune and love. The trajectory starts out with the 2 feeling lucky, making plans, to have them fed up and frustrated with each other and the existence or so it seems. The song continues with expletives and names not repeatable in polite company, words quite commonly heard whilst walking down the street along with a few other obscenities, however, although blame has been cast, it is revealed that it was all for the other. It’s redemptive in that for the last 3 and 1/2 centuries, people have been coming to New York with a dream, not for themselves, but for those whom they love.
I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can´t make it out alone
I´ve built my dreams around you
Every time I listen to this song a nostalgia and reminder of what New York City is and why I’m here. I may not have conquered New York just yet, but I have achieved riches and love from my friends who together bolster and push each other along in our goals. I also have achieved notoriety with my neighbors as playing my music too loud. In any case I’m living my fairytale set to music, in my own show, off, off the Great White Way, critics be damned, I’m loving every second of it.