At first it’s just some biographical component of someone else’s narrative, like, “I have red hair” or “I write little essays on strange thoughts that pop into my head” but, according to the indisputable authority of my own intrinsic personal experience, the phrase “I live in New York City” goes through a cataclysmic multimetamorphasis of meanings as one goes from hearing it to saying it.
Again, it all starts with little to no meaning attached: the utterance “I live in New York City” could very well be met with the counter “Cool! I don’t.”
But as my fascination with New York City slowly kicked in, the phrase becomes more of a goal:
“You do? One day I will.”
Which quickly turns into a feeling of personal connection with anything that ever comes out of or relates to New York City.
“Radiolab from WNYC.”
“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
“Premier screening with live Q&A in New York City.”
is met with
“Soon that will be my home and I’ll be proud to share it with these cultural icons.”
And then you move there.
Immediately, “I live in NYC” becomes merely the title of a full collection of paragraphs.¹ When you say the phrase, you often want to turn it into “I live in NYC, but…” You’re not sure what the ‘but’ is, probably something separating you from the people who ‘just live’ in NYC and don’t ‘daily bask in its culture and significance,’ a concept which only you can comprehend.
September 9, 2012 9:20pm