Monday, October 17, 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

Written and recalled for Magpie Tales:

Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, Chinatown...

Twenty-two years old, exploring alien world of concrete and skyscrapers, eyes drawn upward, jaw agape and dragging on the sidewalk.  I smell the exhaust of a thousand taxis, the acrid odor of burnt pretzels from the corner vendor, the sour steam rising through sidewalk grates from unseen subterranean passages. Getting the grand tour today from city-savvy friends--Penn Station, Broadway, top of the World, dinner in Chinatown. We take the subway to Canal Street, north lies Little Italy: south, we step into another country—bright little shops with neon signs boasting their wares in strokes and symbols. As we pass by one I pause and stare, amazed to see whole birds, plucked, smoked and ready for purchase, not neatly cut and packaged like in the supermarkets I am used to.
February 1978, New York City --"Toto, we're not in Vermont anymore!"

©  Ginny Brannan October 2011
 Photo courtesy Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales            
Shared at Magpie Tales:

This photo reminded me of my first trip into NYC with some of my friends. I was assaulted with sights, sounds and smells the likes of which I had never witnessed before. To this day I remember the total amazement of it all!



  1. An exotic world within a world. Lovely piece.

  2. Nice one Ginny. Love your mention of the city smells - they really can be overwhelming. That was a very effective way to really bring the reader right there.

  3. Really cool ... the way you have sparked our own memories of new, strange places.

  4. no we are not...i remember my first trip to NYC in high school from my small eyes were opened...

  5. Greetings from a fellow New England-type blogger...

  6. @ Martin, NYC itself IS definitely an exotic world!
    @ Mary, been to NYC many times since. The smells, the noise, the hustle and bustle still reach out and grab me each time!
    @ Kathy, Helen and Doctor FTSE, thank you so much for your comments!
    @ Brian, yeah I was totally the typical tourist the first time in, having grown up and lived in small towns. Learned over time it's best not to be so obvious!!
    @ Berowne, hey there fellow New Englander, thanks for stopping by! I've lived in VT, NH and on L.I., and am settled now in Western MA just a wee bit north of you!

  7. Love take us on a journey of sights, sounds and smells...

  8. A wistful remembrance full of nostalgia and the wide-eyed wonder of youth. Beautiful take on this image.


Thank you for reading my poetry and sharing your thoughts.