…If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,
It’s up to you, New York, New York…
– Frank Sinatra, New York, New York
It’s not actually a Frank Sinatra song.
It was written by Kander & Ebb for Liza Minnelli; recorded for a Scorsese film. Minnelli’s original recording dates to 1977; Sinatra didn’t record it until 1979.
But if you’re a Yankees fan, you’ll beg to differ — Sinatra plays when they win; Liza plays when they lose. If you care about baseball, you will want to convince yourself that Frankie’s New York, New York is the only New York, New York, facts be damned.
I don’t really care about baseball. I’ve been to only a handful of games in my life, and brought a book to half of them. But one doesn’t live in New York for the better part of a decade and avoid baseball games. It isn’t done.
And I didn’t know there were “win” songs, and “lose” songs until I finally saw the Yankees lose, and Liza sang us out of the park. It was then that someone explained that baffling concept to me.
Regardless of who sings the tune, in New York, it’s hard to judge success; what it means to be making it. Is it money; is it power; is it sex or drugs or rock ‘n roll? Is it having a bigger apartment — one with a view? Or is it finding love in this City where everything — anad every one — seems to be fungible; trade-up-able?
What I do know is this:
The ones who make it here are generally the ones who find a way to be compassionate with and to themselves.
They’re not always — not just — the ones who can afford tickets to the new Yankee Stadium.
(Throughout the month of June, I’ll be writing a series of New York-related posts, and/or inviting some friends to guest post about their New York experiences, to celebrate my eight years in New York City.)