There is no one thing that characterizes New York City, except for its ability to elude a definition. It is somehow one thing and many. Like a living thing composed of many cells, it is constantly in flux, reconstituting itself. And like a living thing it appears to know more than it seems; that behind the blank and unblinking surface it presents to the masses that pass through, and the ones that linger, it has a subtle knowledge that we do not and will never possess. It is not the gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun (as Yeats would put it), but the furtive gaze of a gentle giant that will guide you on a path of self-discovery. The former, the Yeatsian New York, is the old, dirty New York of the 70s (both the 1970s and 1870s), the latter the new New York, the New York of the future, because New York is always moving towards the future.
Nowhere else in the world is there such a place with such an intricate, sweet, soft weaving of city streets than this wonderful place. The pitter patter of yellow among the wide grey canvas of the concrete jungle ensnares the mind and sets the heart a flutter. Your soul will dance to the tune of honking horns that beat on into the warm, still air from morning to night. Some cities you can get to know like people they have so much depth, so much connective tissue binding together their disparate parts. The lonely bird’s call. The click of a passing woman’s heel. The BEEP BEEP BEEP of a reversing truck slipping down a side street to add more mortar to this near-mortal being coursing with cement. BEEP BEEP BEEP. More, more, more. New, new, new. That is the sound of New York City.