Eventually, as a teenager I gathered my courage and ventured into the real New York. I had to see for myself what those fabled museums and skyscrapers were like—up close and personal. They did not disappoint.
Then I got it into my head to walk home from Manhattan to south Brooklyn. The best way seemed to be to go over the Brookly nBridge. Hence that is what I did. And when I did, I had the bridge exclusively to myself. I did not encounter a single soul from one end of the span to the other.
Yet times change. This past weekend my wife and I visited New York Cityand stayed at a hotel fast by the fabled bridge. This time the two of us decided to make the walk. It would, we agreed, provide and unparalleled view of the city.
Happily, the spectacle was as grand as we hoped—but we were far from alone. Not only the Geico Gecko, but tourists from around the world have made this a visitors’ Mecca. They, along with many natives, accompanied us virtually every inch of the way.
New Yorkhas changed in other ways as well. The people were friendlier than I remember and the place was much cleaner. They have actually removed all of the graffiti from the Subway.
And yet some things don’t change. At least they don’t change very much. New Yorkers might be nicer than they were, but that did not stop one young man from insulting me as I jostled to get on an over-crowded subway car. My wife got on the car before I did and I was anxious I was not left behind on the platform. But that did not matter to this young man who was evidently eager to get home after a long day of work.
Nor was the city free of discarded rubbish. On more than one occasion Linda remarked at how dirty the city was. I explained that it was far tidier than in decades past, but as a country girl fromOhio, she could hardly believe this.
Our stay was a short—and an essentially pleasant one—but we were both pleased to return toGeorgia. There may be nothing comparable to the Brooklyn Bridge in the Atlanta area, yet there is something at least as significant. Georgians are hospitable people. We felt this human dimension immediately upon arrival.
We were also struck by the newness of most Georgian buildings. They are not just clean; they are unspoiled in their freshness.
Then, of course, there is the weather. In New York it is still winter, while in Georgia the flowering trees proclaim that spring has arrived!