Friday, November 12, 2010
I've Got a Feeling
I looked for symbols and icons of the city and they were everywhere to be found in people, places and things. My business logo was inspired by the Bloomingdales typeface. Woody Allen's films seemed to say everything I felt about New York. The Washington Square Arch was a gateway to bohemian life. There was Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Central Park and Times Square.
I needed a bank account and I was flying over the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As we circled for our final approach, there was a giant Chase logo in the grass below. The geometric octagonal logo* seemed so bold and strong, like a bank should be. And, I thought, it must be a substantial enterprise to have a presence so far from New York City.
My banking decision was made there on that final landing. On returning home, I opened my first small business account with Chase Manhattan. And my instincts and luck as an inexperienced man were good. Chase has weathered many economic storms and has faired quite well.
But this is not a story about or a promotion for Chase.
New York City is a place that you either get or not. Or perhaps better said, it gets you or not. We can make lists of pros and cons. We can make charts and graphs, but like any affair of the heart, love is not about statistics or arguments for or against. New York should make you feel like the impassioned Paul McCartney in the Beatles concert of 1969 where he proclaimed I've Got A Feeling from the rooftop.
When I moved to New York City in 1969, you certainly would be hard pressed to make much of a rational case for the Big Apple. Things were falling apart with the city teetering on bankruptcy. Crime was high, quality of life was low. Graffiti and garbage were everywhere. For myself and my college friends, all this was just part of the fabric of the city. Shortcomings were only small hurdles to jump over or nuisances to slalom around but nothing served as a deterrent to living here whatsoever.
As a place to visit, New York City is certainly easier to sell now. But as a place to live, there are all the same inconveniences of any big city with new hurdles and slalom poles. If you're looking for sensible reasons to live here, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a place to love and one that will love you back, welcome to our world. I hope to find you on a rooftop one day singing I've Got a Feeling :)
*The Chase Logo was designed in 1960 by the firm of Chermayeff & Geismar Inc., whose portfolio of work shows an astonishing array of company logos.
Photo Note: This is the Nasdaq Building at Times Square.