A poem about a daughter’s visit to a New York landmark with her father.

Comments: 14

  1. You conclude your beautiful ode Kathryn Anne with the classic closing line of many a fairy tale and beloved children’s story, and that is exactly as it should be. There IS “magic in the air” in the skyscrapers of New York City, quintessentially in the Empire State Building which instantly came to serve as an iconic symbol of that magic, of the city, and of love from the day it opened, well captured in now classic movies from “An Affair to Remember” to “Sleepless in Seattle.” What a wonderful way for you and your father to return to the magic of childhood and to create an indelible memory. Thank you for your lovely Diary entry and for the memory of the thrill of taking that elevator up and up and up . . .

  2. I also recalled her Hell's Kitchen memory with her Nana looking out on 10th Avenue, which I send people from time to time close to a year later.

    This has me wondering - Is the "West Side Story" urchin reference to his (Dad's) being in the show at one point, or maybe a resident of the neighborhood where it took place?

  3. I remember reading that Diary entry last year Freddie but didn’t recall that it was written by the same diarist—thanks for pointing that out and providing the link. I had the same question about Kathryn Anne’s father and came to the conclusion (based solely on a hunch) that he had grown up on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. You probably know this as a devotee of the theater but I was surprised to learn fairly recently that when Jerome Robbins approached Leonard Bernstein with the idea that they collaborate on a play it was for an “East Side Story” with the clash of rival Jewish and Italian gangs from the Lower East Side and Little Italy coming around the time of the Passover and Easter holidays. Over a decade later the concept had metamorphosed into the “West Side Story” of

  4. Oh rats, Freddie! It says that the link is broken.

  5. Cheers to your 86-year-old born-and-bred New Yorker dad, Kathryn Anne, on his first ride up the elevator of the Empire State Building.

    He and my wife have that in common: She is a born-and-bred New Yorker who had never (as in NEVER) been to the top of the Empire State Building either until I took her up, about a month after we were married, “a few” years ago now.

    It was rainy and windy, but not so bad as to obscure the view. Great fun! Great memory!

  6. A beautiful poem. It brings back memories of visits to the highlights (pun not intended)of exiting New York with my Bubbe back in the 40's. Of course, the Empire State was one of my fondest memories--clutching her had in the elevator.

  7. My favorite memories are of going to the top of the WTC. What an elevator ride. From the top I could see my house in jersey city. And so many special dates at windows on the world with my now ex- husband but still my best friend. So much was lost on 9/11. But not the memories of places and people.

  8. I was born and raised in Manhattan, where I still live. I too, have never been to the top of the Empire State Building, which, by the way, I can see from my bedroom window. (Very un-fancy digs, but I can see it in the distance, enough to always know the evening colors.) I wonder how many native New Yorkers have not done things we deem as touristy. East Side, West Side, do New Yorkers go all around the town? Love the image of your happy Daddy.

  9. I am one (a local) and went up there first with my dad when I was little - to the very top, outside 102nd floor which is awesome, actually I’ve been to that area twice. Visited the 86th floor probably twice at least but you don’t get to see northern view from there (Central Park, etc) but it’s still amazing.

    I got to do many NYC things growing up - then tapered off a bit, somewhat though living here is an adventure & great experience always - but I endeavor now to enjoy whatever I can whenever I can in this wonderful, incomparable city.

    A lot of it, though not the ESB, can be done for free, and is unforgettable. Also, as a local, we have the option of timing our visits during the less crowded times of year - if that matters to some folks.

    The Empire State Building is tops on my favorite NYC things list, I guess because it’s just iconic and still here.

    I worked on 101st floor of 1 WTC for a few years and loved being up there everyday day, it was such an amazing building, spectacular views (when there were views, weird when there weren’t or when it snowed!) and it sounds strange but it had its own soul. I miss it everyday.

  10. The trouble with free-verse poetry is how many people think they can compose good poems after reading some of it.

    I wish "Metropolitan Diary" would stick to prose. This story would be better if it had been written in that form.

  11. Yes. Poetry is a lot more than just prose formatted in irregular lines. But this is a pleasant anecdote nonetheless.

  12. While we can debate what constitutes a poem, I noticed something after reading your comments. The poem is like going downstairs, the opposite of up. Perhaps the writer had that in mind.

  13. Blue Jay, I cannot think of much to say to you other than spoil sport, regarding your comment on Kathryn Anne Sweeney-James lovely poem which was just magical. Perhaps you are just like the blue jay, stealing other's treasures...

  14. Thank you, Kathryn, for such a magical moment. Your father couldn't hold in his excitement, and just like a kid, burst out that it was his first time. Keep sharing your tenderness and beauty.