I, however, can't help but view the city as a portal to its magnificent past. Every time I visit, and it's been more than a dozen times, I think of the writers and poets who lived at the Chelsea Hotel, the jazzmen who blew horns and minds at the Village Vanguard, the abstract painters who bewildered everyone with their in-your-face masterpieces in SoHo. No matter what the current, pressing need is (in my case this week, a crazy back-to-back work schedule), all I see is a city of yesteryear, of larger-than-life personalities and places now gone, but of stories and impressions that haunt each step I take and lurk around every corner.
It's always surprising, especially now that I'm middle-aged and tired, to see how many people walk the sidewalks of this city so late at night, seemingly with so many important things to do and places to be.
With my work done on Friday morning, I left the gray, cold, rainy weather and flew back to Orlando, where it was 85 degrees and bursting with color. As a young man, I always yearned to live in Manhattan. Now, it's big fun to visit but nothing beats returning home to the sunshine, my wife and kids, my guitars!
"Beyond the New York City guidebooks and the chamber of commerce, New York is no summer festival," wrote Gay Talese, one of the ultimate chroniclers of New York life, in his brilliant story, New York is a City of Things Unnoticed. "For most New Yorkers, it is a town of hard work, too many cars, too many people."
WHY I WAS IN NEW YORK: I had the privilege of working with an army of super talented entertainment, public affairs and marketing colleagues to support an unforgettable event for Disney. Here's a video summary of the results.