Published on December 4th, 2017 | by Jerry & Pat Hocek0
I like to visit downtown Manhattan just before Christmas. I tried to make it a tradition, but life typically gets in the way. There’s something exhilarating about exploring the streets of Chinatown, Little Italy, the Lower East Side and the East and West Village just prior to Santa’s appearance. The dining options are more favorable and there is a larger variety of intriguing gifts to be had in the city that never sleeps. It beats going to the Jersey malls by a long shot. The city became one of my first loves, and I’ve since cheated on her with Prague, Paris and numerous other European capitals, but none of these can usurp the Big Apple’s place in my soul.
Each time I visit, I’m quick to roll down my window as I arrive… to listen to her heart beat and hear the secrets she softly whispers amidst the symphony of pedestrians, vehicles and whirring machines. Her neighborhoods tell stories of both anguish and ecstasy, of triumph and injustice, greed and benevolence. She holds space for it all without a sliver of preference or prejudice. Her streets, sidewalks and buildings are stripped from her mother—rock, water, minerals and metals, a radical mixture that spawned the urban goddess I so adore. Her unwavering presence and charm captured my heart long before any mortal woman could. I’m certain she hears my laughter and feels my joy when we’re together, and it brings me comfort to know that she’ll always be there for me to love.