Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day Weekend = 14 Years In Manhattan

On a Labor Day weekend 14 years ago, I arrived in Manhattan with no job. The move took several days back and forth from Connecticut since I don't drive and my mom couldn't maneuver the giant rental truck I reserved. So we shoved as much as we could into the station wagon and ping ponged back and forth along the Merritt Parkway a few times over the course of the weekend. It got the job done.

A week or so later I got a job at the Associated Press and pretty much decided never to leave this town. Some people get relationships or careers right on the first shot. Me, I got location. Manhattan has changed enormously since I first opened the door to apartment 1A on East 94th Street, but overall the vibe is still the same.

Many songs have been written about Manhattan. Woody Allen made Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" famous thanks to the opening montage of his movie, Manhattan. Ella Fitzgerald also has a lovely version of "Manhattan" that was apparently featured on Mad Men.

Cole Porter summed up the Manhattan obsession perfectly in his song, "Take Me Back To Manhattan." It's part of the Anything Goes soundtrack. I heard it first when I was 16 years old and in a high school production of the musical. (I was Charity, one of Reno Sweeney's back up dancers, because I could tap dance.)The song stuck in my head for years, and I have thought of it every single time I have been on a plane landing in New York City, or approaching one of the tunnels. Sometimes, you just know where you belong.