Chapter 1. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion.. No, make that: he - he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yes. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.'Er, tsch, no, missed out something. Chapter 1. He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart guys who seemed to know all the angles..'. No, no, corny, too corny for a man of my taste. Can we.. Can we try and make it more profound?Chapter 1. He adored New York City. To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams in..'No, that's a little bit too preachy. I mean, you know, let's face it, I want to sell some books here. Chapter 1. He adored New York City, although to him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage..'Too angry, I don't want to be angry. Chapter 1. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.'I love this. New York was his town, and it always would be..
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
But what Dakota most enjoyed about the beginning of winter was the crispness of the air (that practically demanded the wearing of knits) and the way that tough New Yorkers - on the street, in elevators, in subways - were suddenly willing to risk a smile. To make a connection with a stranger. To finally see one another after strenuously avoiding eye contact all year.
Just like that. Gone forever. They will not grow old together. They will never live on a beach by the sea, their hair turned white, dancing in a living room to Billie Holiday or Nat Cole. They will not enter a New York club at midnight and show the poor hip-hop fools how to dance. They will not chuckle together over the endless folly of the world, its vanities and stupid ambitions. They will not hug each other in any chilly New York dawn. Oh, Mary Lou. My baby. My love.