SONGS TO NEW YORK
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"The Upper West Side had a spirit all her own, a benevolent, mysterious woman who spoke little, but who smiled in welcome greeting each time he visited her; whose distinct perfume lingered long after his departure.
"But, as one-by-one the years advanced, and with them the unrelenting increase of crime and urban neglect, the perfume faded from Timothy's conscious memory…
"… Then, in the middle of the third year, the dreams began… As they recurred in the early morning hours, their impression lingered more and more, like perfume scarcely acknowledged until compounded by the wearer's frequency." - Chapter 4, The Bar.
Watching The Wizard of Oz on television as a child, Brooklyn author Myrtle Brooks always called the Emerald City home. Here, in Songs to New York, her love affair with the Big Apple is depicted in ten slices: literary fiction short stories on extraordinary events occurring to everyday people in the five boroughs. "The Sanctity of the Mails:" observed in Heaven via the Brooklyn Post Office. A Staten Island-raised engineer who escapes city living, only to find the city inside himself. A Manhattan West Side cat who rides a bicycle, whose presence effects a transformation within his community. The unique bond between a little boy and an earthworm in the Bronx. A mysterious floor in a Queens apartment building reachable through attainment alone.
The city comes to play in the lives of her people as do the people in the life of the city. In Songs to New York no line is drawn between the two. In the absence of cynicism, the stories show mankind at its best in the face of such adversities as poverty, drug addiction, psychotrauma, loss of loved ones and of perspective. The answers are positive and uplifting.
Likewise, the city, too, is an entity who speaks for herself.
The characters from varying ethnic backgrounds and walks of life reflect the essence of New York and what she stands for: that you don’t have to be of any social status, position, race or nationality to experience a miracle in the city of miracles.