12/17/2014 01:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Gray White Way


Most people who gravitate to New York City live in the shadow of a romance that is seldom fulfilled. You may have been born here, but if you migrate to New York, you're probably suffering from early stage Bovarysme. You're less interested in being rather than becoming. Existence always plays second fiddle to those dreams fanned by the flames of infinite possibility. Sure there are thousands of exceptions, but New York is a hard place to settle down in. It's not for the kind of people who enjoy using the expression "I can't complain." New Yorkers are always complaining because they see the possibility of something greater. After all, that's why they live here. They willingly enter the Inferno because of unruly imaginations that always leave them in a state of dissatisfaction. There are the few who are able to harness their yearnings in ways that nearly satisfy this search for the grail. There are those whose talents are like the detonator to a nuclear device, but the majority are trapped into a sate of permanent malaise. As Gina Bellafante remarked in a Times piece about the plight of one New Yorker ("As Shop Owner, Woman Sees Troubling Sides of Herself," 1/10/14),

"There are no campaigns to be waged against the darker turns of aspiration, but we can know the cost of too often looking up and too often looking down is too rarely looking forward."

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}