I was thinking about this quote over the weekend when my friend, Trevin, and I were at our favorite cheapie lunch spot - the cafe at the Edison Hotel. Trevin and I moved to the city (Trevin for the first time, me for the third time) around the same time and I have no doubt in about 50 years we will become two of those crusty old folks that you hear in the streets of New York saying things like "I remember back when I first moved here...." We will be relics of a time gone by after living out our lives in this fabulous city of ours with tall tales to tell anyone who may be interested in listening.
After wolfing down cheeseburgers and fries, we went over to the Gershwin Theatre for the laying of the wreath at Noël Coward's statue inside the theatre hall of fame. Trevin was invited as he is a member of the Noël Coward Society - http://www.noelcoward.net/home.html. I had never been there before though Trevin has. Actually, he is a walking theatre archive himself. (Finally he is going to create his own blog to record all the inane pieces of theatre trivia he knows. I will be publicizing it hardily once it is up and running.)
Trevin and I were the youngest people in the ceremony group by about 3+ decades. Mr. Coward was an English playwright and actor who wrote a litany of fantastic works including Private Lives, Present Laughter, and Waiting in the Wings. He thought he was a man who would be forgotten, but to this small society and to the theatre community at-large, he is very well-remembered and loved.
I was giving Trevin a hard time about his membership, mostly because Trevin and I give one another a hard time about everything the same way siblings do. We do laugh at one another though we do this at the same time so it all evens out. Though as I looked around at this collection of people in the Gershwin, I could see myself in them. They, at one time, were all young and fabulous in New York City, and were all too happy to tell us about it. I listened with interest, hoping that someday people may do the same for me, too.
At that moment, I realized what I love best about New York. Among its many wonderful attributes, its greatest may be that this city is a home for everyone, with a group for everyone. All you really have to do is find what it is you love, and you will undoubtedly find people who love the same thing. And they all have a story; they all arrived to this same spot by very different routes and we have much to learn from their journeys. New York is a gypsy tent and a barn that Dickens would be proud of.
The above photo can be found at http://gothamist.com/attachments/Jen%20Chung/2006_02_snowpslope.jpg