"If this town is just an apple, then let me take a bite." (M. Jackson)
Human nature is a complicated subject matter to say the least, but if there's one convenient place in the world to conduct field research on the entire spectrum of what it entails, it's New York City. Symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, the City has long been associated with tolerance and opportunity, welcoming emigrants from countries all across the world. Now, with over 8 million people living in an area of about 300 square miles (790 km sq.), over 800 languages spoken, and countless neighborhoods spread throughout the five boroughs each adding their unique stories to the city's collective legend, it's more of a small continent than a metropolis.
At the same time, as Glenn Shorrock points out in the Little River Band cut in Lady Liberty's honor, New York also plays home to some of the most outrageous greed in the world. But that's not its only vice - to reach venues where you can witness pinnacles in art and entertainment, you must walk past homeless beggars on the sidewalks; museums can be found around the block from seedy storefronts promising the best in X-rated material; and prestigious research universities are located in the same areas where drug trafficking and prostitution thrive. There are folks living their wildest dreams in New York alongside others stuck in horrendous nightmares.
For some of us, therein lies its beauty. The country boys in Quicksilver Messenger Service may want to get out ASAP, but for folks like me and Michael Jackson, she is an irresistible mistress beckoning us out into her bosom with her seductive sighs. She promises us a glimpse into the best and worst of humanity, and we find it easily as we touch strangers and look into each other's electric eyes (even if you've been conditioned to never make eye contact). That's half of the reason why I heart NY...the other half is because I know every person here has their own story and their own reasons for loving it as much as I do. So if they say,