2/28/24 Marty Blog #1

2/28/24 Marty Blog #1

”Manhattan keeps on making it, Brooklyn keeps on taking it, Bronx keeps creatin’ it, and Queens keeps on fakin’ it ….” 

The Bridge is Over

Boogie Down Productions

My name is Marty. I’m a 45-year-old so called Black man, born, raised and currently still residing within the confines of New York City. With the exception of travel, vacation and a few short stints spent living in the state of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, I have called New York City home for the majority of my life. 

My journey began shortly before noon, on the first day of summer, inside Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side. I was raised in the County of Kings, better known as Brooklyn.  If it were still it’s own city, Brooklyn would be the fourth largest in the United States. Behind only the rest of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. 

As a veteran New York City bicycle messenger and avid cyclist in general, I canvassed the vast blocks and avenues of my beloved “concrete jungle.” My cohorts and I were an eclectic mix of semi pro cyclists, students, writers, artists, photographers, and mechanics. Men and women who loved and lived to ride fast.  Mashing and spinning our way through the five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. Observing the comings and goings of NYC’s millions of residents from the vaunted positions of our leather Brooks saddles. 

We enjoyed the height of the early 2000’s track bike and fixed gear scene. Daily congregations at Union Square on Fourteenth Street in Manhattan. An island situated in the middle of traffic, separating traffic on either side of Park Avenue South. Thousands of dollars worth of two wheelers ready to wage assault on the tumultuous vehicle traffic that dominates the most populated city in the United States.  

And what did we learn?

In the shadow of many vast skyscrapers and landmarks, exists the most culturally diverse city in the United States. The boroughs populated by ethnic enclaves form a melting pot that draws in people from different cultural backgrounds and identities. Where strangers from every continent and corner of the world congregate and become fast friends. An amalgamation of native language, ideas, food and artistry to name a few. 

As a first hand observer, this exciting and, oftentimes,  overwhelming melding of culture directly precipitated the meeting of my newest friend, the illustrious Patty. 

The city is constantly changing and evolving. Unfortunately, not all change is good and for the better. The recent ongoings of this great city made me begin to strongly question how long I’d continue to maintain my “lifelong residency.”

Rising rents, the influx of migrants seeking asylum, a failing criminal justice system, the seemingly crumbling infrastructure, a rodent infestation, daily commuters lacking situational awareness, heads glued to their cellphones ignoring their surroundings, and callously ignoring those around them. At times, it can all be too much ….

I decided I needed a break. An escape. But for good? Could I do it. I decided to plan some trips to major cities in the country I had yet visited. That is how I made the acquaintance of Patty. I was impressed with her beauty (those eyes and smile), intelligence, business acumen, compassion, class, and of course her writing prowess. I came across her professionally constructed website complete with a witty, informative and humorous blog dedicated to her life experiences and observations. As we began to correspond, we discovered our commonality at times outweighed our differences. We decided to collaborate, and I’d like to thank her for the opportunity. 

With her blessing, I will continue to share my New York City experiences and observations via her blog. 

New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice. Famed actor, film producer and lifelong New York City resident, Robert Deniro once remarked in an interview, “some people say New York’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I say that about other places.” 

Admittedly, at times, I’ve shared those sentiments. The city possess an excitement and uniqueness that’s all it’s own, but it has it’s shortcomings and challenges like anyplace else. The weird dichotomy that exists within it’s geographical limits and it’s residents, will have one loudly questioning the city’s humanity only to be quickly swayed in another direction when observing a random act of kindness performed by one of it’s citizens. 

I will have more to share in forthcoming blogs, and I look forward to eventually visiting Kansas City and meeting my new friend, Patty, properly.

Once again, a big thank you to her, and thank you the readers for reading. 

More to come …. Much obliged ….


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