a blog with cultural bulimia.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lonely in New York.

"Had anyone else ever been this lonely in New York?

I didn’t stay low for long. Looking at the buildings and lights rising over the dark of the East River made me feel bigger than my problems. The skyline reminded me of the way music looks in a mixing program on a computer. In Pro Tools, songs are shown as waves. Loud parts of a song are high peaks; quiet parts are valleys. Manhattan looked like that, peaks and valleys, a song thirteen miles long.

I tried to hum the buildings, remembering the parts of the city I couldn’t see. The song opens very quietly, in the park at the Battery, but then gets Nirvana-huge with Wall Street’s distortion and noise. Then it fades quickly, but only to build up to the climax of midtown. There you come to the Empire State Building, huge and orchestrated: grand piano, drums, and acoustic bass. Still heading uptown, it gets a little quieter, with another loud moment for the Citibank building (that building is definitely a synthesizer solo). Once you pass midtown, the song begins to fade, all the way to Inwood.

The skyline was a song played at the biggest concert in the world."