New York City is an addiction.
It's a rush, a titillating vice, a near-death experience you can't bear not to re-live daily, an ever-inspiring muse and elaborate work of performance art whose encore is always an excuse to part with cash you don't really have.
New York City is biking 6th Ave. and the blast of adrenaline from dodging a speeding left-turning taxi at 39th St. It's the rejection on the face of an old hard-up grey-haired man as you smile and raise a glass with a scruffy erotic photographer at a Greenwich Village gay bar, and the a smirk on the face of the "Bearded Alchemist" as he lights your whiskey drink ablaze at a hipster cocktail bar on the Upper East Side.
It's the late winter evening shadow of bare trees cast upon the curve of the Guggenheim and the impromptu ballet performance on a Central Park sidewalk. It's clogged streets of tourists and shoppers buying designer jeans and sneakers and hand bags at the Carhartt and Camper and Louis Vuitton boutiques, and the filming of the latest "Girls" episode in a SoHo park.
It's the cheap falafel shop across the street, the scammers hawking ripped-off DVDs on Broadway and the lines of exotic Chinatown produce stands stinking of raw fish from the South China Sea. It's exquisite croissants and $3 shots of espresso.
It's the Wall Street banker whose suit has been soaked by the rain and sour milk leaking into a puddle from a trash bag piled on the sidewalk. It's the flight over Manhattan as your Airbus sweeps over the nation's most majestic skyline just before skimming the whitecaps on Flushing Bay and landing with a swerve and a jolt at LaGuardia.
It's the mad scramble to the train beneath the stars on the ceiling of Grand Central and the subway beggar praising Jesus as the 7 Train fills with smoke in a tunnel beneath the East River. It's the doo-wopping, Bible-thumping panhandler on the A Train passing around cheap candy and a collections plate. It's the jackhammer beneath my office window and the staccato honking of horns on Houston Street saying in a single punch of the steering wheel welcome, screw you and scram.
It's the rawness and electricity of life and the illusion of infinite possibilities experienced in a single day making you just want more, more, more, making the morning slog to work not an annoyance, but a grand reintroduction to the daily fix of the city.