100

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
—Frank Sinatra

“Let’s hear it for New York. I made you hot nigga.”
—Jay-Z

This is my 100th post. 100 posts, eight months in New York – 245 days, one city. Three scripts, two feature and one short. Eight TV episodes. About a dozen things you could call internships and several dozen more new friends. Maybe one day I will get over myself and these will be the last 100 posts, but for now I’m pretty happy that this blog has come this far. But these numbers don’t tell a story.

My story begins with the flight confirmation I received before my trip, with a return flight to Los Angeles planned a month after arrival just to be safe. If I want to come back it will be easy, I told myself as I packed three suitcases and got a bed. By the time the return date arrived, I knew that I was here for the long haul. The story ends, for now, when I sat in a quiet room watching Captured (watch free on SnagFilms!), a collection of videos of the Lower East Side, and saw the history of the place I inhabit. The tremendous creativity that comes out of New York owes as much to its people as its uniqueness as a city. At that moment yesterday, it dawned on me (in the way it tends to, when it has been obvious to others for some time) that it will be a long time before I leave here.

New York has proven to be everything to me as it is everything to others. I have found energy that is synergistic and artistic, overwhelming crushes of people, private moments snuck with friends and regal majesty of enormous scale. Hiking in the forest is mere miles from trading on Wall Street, as is heartbreaking poverty from extravagant privilege. I’ve learned over and over again that we do not live in a meritocracy (nor a democracy,) that the film and journalism and music industries are dying with uncertain heirs, and that it is possible to experience extreme isolation and overwhelming connection at the same time.

I’ve witnessed the passion of my friends in innumerable endeavors: some striving to make a difference and others a living, but all working to be the best in their lives. I’ve seen in a single year nerds become not just admirable but genuinely cool. This city is awash with potential and failure, which in so many ways are the same thing. It’s a wild storm that we strive to surf more ably. Where an idea can spread like lightning and grow in a collective mind. The greatest tragedy of New York is that none of us will ever experience it all–laughably, not even close. In this city, everything is so much more everything than everywhere else. And everything is possible.

It’s difficult to quantify what I have learned, but I know it’s been a lot. The awareness of craft that comes with practice and the emotional osmosis that comes with personal experience are lessons I am grateful for.

And what else could my retrospective have been but a love letter?

“I dwell in possibility.”
—Emily Dickinson

Comments

comments

One Comment to “100”

  1. squidelephant 23 November 2009 at 2:51 am #

    Hey Michael,

    Really nice post! I fully agree with all the sentiments expressed here, and you did so with tremendous eloquence. Look forward to reading more!

    -E


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