Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I am not in the habit of personifying inanimate objects unless of course, its an abandoned church, but alas, here goes something.

    I have admired the Empire State building and its stoicism for a long time. But its not the building itself that I love, its its unabashed and persistent presence in all things. It has transcended itself a long time ago and became an icon, a movie star, history, art, experience and so on. However, I think only New Yorkers can fully appreciate its unyielding presence. It is glimpsed from Williamsburg rooftops, South Brooklyn apartment blocks, random Queens roads and Park Avenue penthouses. It stays the same, no matter who is looking and from where.

    So what does it take to be like that? To be so stoic and belong to everyone and no one at the same time? What's it like to have that kind of presence? I wonder about this as I think of the Empire State as a person living in the modern world. With that kind of presence, it is exposed to harsh weather, cruel words, unwelcome quests and even distant criticism. Then I think about what the Empire State is and its unmoving and unyielding grace, and classic looks.

    I used to have to crane my neck to see the Empire State building from a tight sliver in my first Manhattan apartment, or use my zoom lens if I wanted to see any of it at all from where I grew up in South Brooklyn. As I ascend, my view of it becomes clearer and clearer. I no longer have to crane to see it because its displayed for me through my windows and framed like the piece of art that it is. On clear days, it has been relegated to the reflections in my microwave door. From distant dreams of New York, to first sight and awe, to searching for it in the darkness, to reflecting in a microwave. Oh, how far we have come.

    Thats exactly the thing you see, we should all strive to be more the Empire State building. No matter who is looking at it or from where, it remains the same. It reflects in microwaves, windows of cabbies and Rolls Royces, in sunglasses, as well as filthy puddles. It's magnificent even when it's reflecting in the dirt and it stays the same whether you are looking up or in this case, looking down. The thing it reminds is to be so imperiable to your surroundings that you never have to look back.

    Related stories:
    I didn't Love New York Until...
    My Favorite Place on Earth
    Gilded Castle In the Sky

    Story 37 of 52 - Random Stories in 2014 and 2015
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.