Do you believe in ghosts?
I do. Not literally, of course. I don't believe in white-clad spirits rushing around to and fro, haunting houses and terrorizing people. I don't believe our deceased ancestors spy on us from "the great beyond". I don't believe in anything mystical or spooky or weird. I'm not into any of that kind of stuff.
But I do believe that certain places can still capture the spirit of a person -- or people -- who inhabited them long after he or she or they have physically left it, especially after they have died. If you ever go to Rome and visit the Colosseum or the Forum or any of the great sites of Roman antiquity, it's impossible not to feel the eternal presence of Julius Caesar and the other great Romans who built it. (Rome is, after all, the eternal city). Go to Philadelphia and Constitution Hall -- it's impossible not to feel the lingering shadow of the Founder Father as they hammered out the Constitution.
You get the idea. When people make a profound impact on a place, the spirit of that impact endures on it, even after they have passed on.
Such is the case of Lou Reed and New York City. The self-proclaimed New York City man wrote extensively about his hometown, naming a whole album after it and penning numerous songs about this place: "Coney Island Baby", "Coney Island Steeplechase", "NYC Man", "Sally Can't Dance", "Rock'n'Roll", "Dirty Boulevard", "Walk on the Wild Side", and on and on. I don't think I can ever travel to 125th street, especially Lexington Avenue, without the lyric from "I'm Waiting for My Man":
Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive
Lou Reed died almost three years ago but his music and spirit still live in NYC. He may be dead but he never left. As this article explains, New York Is Still Lou Reed's Town (You Just Live in It).
This past weekend, as Lincoln Center, there was an all-day tribute to the music of Lou Reed. People performed his songs and read his lyrics. People kept his spirit alive -- not that they needed to since it never died.
In NYC, Lou Reed will always linger on ...