Ever since I was a little girl living in the Bronx, I always wanted to sleep under the big bright lights. What do I mean by that? Well, I love looking out of the windows night and see the lights on in every room and in every rooftop. Sure, I didn’t grow up really looking at the stars in the sky. Gazing at the stars was something people did on television when they were being wistful. It’s not what a girl like like me really grew up doing. And my dream was to sleep under those big lights seen on television shows that depicted New York City life. It was a dream I have carried with me.
For my first adult living-on-my-own apartment in the city, I managed to live in an area called Gramercy Park in Manhattan. Right next to our apartment building was the local police station. Occasionally, our living room would be supremely well lit by the police department flood lights out on the street. But those really weren’t the big bright lights I had been dreaming of since childhood. I didn’t really care to have a front seat to the perp walk.
Then I moved down to Battery Park. That was a whole other world. We were at the tip of the island where it was quite lonely at night. Occasionally, you could see right through to the Statue of Liberty. Our particular building faced the highway and thus the light that shone into our living room was that of headlights. That too was not the type of bright lights I had dreamt of since childhood. Because my buildings have not had access to the big bright lights that I had dreamt of since childhood, I always loved walking towards Grand Central down Park Avenue. It’s one of the most pretty sights a city dweller can take in. Alas, I have yet to have the pleasure of living on Park Avenue.
Across 17 cities I have lived. Each city has been unique and each brought it’s own set of packaged dreams.
Now, I live in Los Angeles and, go figure, I live under the big city lights. Many here don’t appreciate that look and sensibility. Most people don’t actually live in LA city proper and most prefer a suburban look. But when some see the views I have, they do stand and marvel at it for a bit. Even if it is just a fleeting moment in time.
These bright lights of downtown Los Angeles are new. A decade ago, they were barely here. A decade ago, people scurried about the area leaving promptly at 5pm to escape the so-called eeriness of back then. People tell me all the time I’m lucky since no one really lived in downtown before. I wonder how could they not? For me it’s been a dream. I will miss living here. But I will have my memories of the bright city lights.