Thursday, September 14, 2006

Scenes on the F

There's a point in the F Line, between Carroll and 7th Avenue in Brooklyn, where for two brief stops the subway emerges from the dank, dark underground and teeters for what feels like hundreds of feet above ground. For this short moment, you can see an expanse of buildings and sky. But what's even better--when one peers toward Manhattan, the Empire State Building rises above the rest of the city, and when the passenger turns toward the harbor, the Statue of Liberty reveals herself for no more than ten seconds as the subway rattles along its elevated tracks. It's beautiful.

The funny thing is that, since I've noticed this unlikely New York attraction tour, I perk up as my car begins its ascent into the sun and sit up in my seat to look. No one--no commuter, no writer, no lawyer, no hipster, no begger, no child nor parent--turns to peer out the windows. That's the thing about New Yorkers. They are just not impressed by their city. Of course, if in the company of someone from outside the boroughs, they eagerly tout the beauty of Manhattan in fall, the up-and-coming nature of Brooklyn, the diversity of cultures and the numerous offbeat urban attractions, but when amongst themselves, the city seems ho-hum. New Yorkers are simultaneously bored and achingly pretentious about their home.

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