Everyone’s always on the run in NYC. Anywhere, in any direction. But when you try to get some place, with an address, even gps coordinates, you realize streets don’t really come with a name here, but rather orientation (west, east, north, south) as in a map going in circles towards a center which is in its very heart. <<I need to go to 46th>>. <<That’d be between? – What d’you mean between? Between what?>>.
That’s it: in its very unclearness, such a frantic city finds its clarity and precision in its simple, vague ”betweens”. As you are trying to find your direction in the midst of these ”betweens”, you wind up in the very center of it. Which is when your precision skills come in handy.
New York is the emblem of such an indistinct yet determined way of life which puts you right in the middle, BETWEEN endless alternatives, roads, choices, directions.
It is this ”between” which defines everything: between dream and reality, between arrogance and humbleness, between blatancy and banality, between wealth and poverty, beauty and squalor, between clean and dirty, black and white people, good and evil, disapproval and consent, simplicity and hardship.
All the American paradoxes are painted in these colors, giving voice to the plurality and diversity which form society, among which you find yourself somewhat confused, and when asked by the cab driver <<Where exactly on 46th?>> all you can do is answer with the same vagueness the Country of freedom of expression teaches <<between 8th and 9th, sir>>.
It is the same New York which demands clarity and determination of me if I want to get where I want to. Which leads me to think: in this ocean of freedom and precision, elegance and ambiguity, between expectations and disappointments, wonder and disillusion, reality and dream, I realize that dreaming is a luxury, and at the end of the day what it takes is precision, determination, sense of direction towards our best-case-scenario, lest we find ourselves strayed in the middle of a very long 46th street.
Up to you now.
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