Sunday, April 7, 2013

Childhood in NYC

This past week, New York magazine had a great special section on Childhood in New York.

This feature has articles about what it was like to grow up in NYC in the past and today, and it has numerous interviews with various famous New Yorkers about what it was like to grow up here -- as well as interviews with kids who are growing up here today.

We think of NYC as many things -- an international capital of culture, media and commerce, a place where immigrants come to realize the American dream of freedom and opportunity, a place where kids from the rest of America come to "make it", and an exciting place just to have fun.

NYC is many things and it can be whatever you want it to be.

And it's also home to 8.2 million people, including several million children. 

I was one of them, and I'm currently raising one of them, so it's great to see what growing up in NYC was like for others.

For me, growing up in NYC meant so many things that it's hard to sum it up easily. But if I had to give one example about what made growing up in NYC so special, it would be this: 

When I was 10, my parents allowed me to start taking the bus to school by myself. I went to school on East 79th street. At the time, I loved to skateboard. So on most mornings, I would get off the M4 bus at 89th street, right in front of the Guggenheim museum, and skate down Fifth Avenue, right past the Metropolitan Museum, and then down to 79th street. 

These were the happiest 15 minutes of my day and, looking back on it, I realize how lucky I was and how special it was to be able to have a little fun before school -- with some of the world's greatest cultural institutions as my backdrop.

Only in NYC.

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