I’ve been sittingÂ at the ramshackle desk in the room we laughingly call “the study” for the last half hour, doing everythingÂ except write a blog post. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write – more that I don’t have much to share.
The last few days have been difficult. Let’s just leave it at that.
So. Why is this post called “Manhattan”? Because I just opened Amazon Music with all the intention in the world of finding an album by Sibelius, but ended up typing “Manhattan Soundtrack” into the search box instead of “Sibelius Violin Concerto”. I’m not entirely sure why. Anyway – it turns out Amazon doesn’t have the soundtrack of the movie, so I went after the title track itself – “Rhapsody in Blue”, by George Gershwin.
Here’s the thing though – I’ve never been to Manhattan -Â I probably never will. And yet I feel like I know the place through theÂ various bloggers I have become unlikely friends with across the vast gulf of the internet -Â sharing slices of their lives while living and working in and around the New York City area.
New York to me is chess in Washington Square Park, Dar Williams singing about the Hudson River, and of course the iconic opening from Woody Allen’s movie “Manhattan”. Whenever I hear “Rhapsody in Blue”, I think of black and white film of rain soaked streets. When I hear Jimmy Durante on the radio, I imagineÂ Meg Ryan walking to meet Tom Hanks in the park. When I see photos of subway stations, I wonder which pillar of which station Marilyn stood anonymously in front of amidÂ the passing commuters for the iconic shots that became posters on bedroom walls all over the world.
I get it. None of it is real. I travel into London with work all the time, and walk past so many iconic sightsÂ without a second glance – the lions ofÂ Trafalgar Square, the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and the River Thames winding it’s way under Tower Bridge, and out towards the English Channel.
But perhaps I do know a little of the “real” Manhattan – through the moments shared by the bloggers I follow – the moments that tell stories of lives not too dissimilar thanÂ my own – thanÂ anybody else’s really.