Originally Published 05/05/2011 06:43:41 AM
They came, from everywhere, for every reason, perpetual waves of dreams and dreamers. The Dutch came to make a buck, and the English came to conquer. The Irish came to labor, and the Italians came to prosper. And the Jews came to escape and the young came to re-invent. They all came dreaming. They came with nothing, and they came with everything. They worked and dreamed and built bridges and tunnels and washed windows and pounded scalding rivets into steel and traded stocks and played saxophones and ate hot dogs from street carts and ate nothing and slept on fire escapes and went to the top of the world and back and built the next top of the world and the next and the next. Steam and sweat, Woolworth and Chrysler and Empire, greatest ocean liners in the world. They prospered and they were beat into submission. They lived, they dreamed, they died Manhattan: impossibly great Manahatta, ode and elegiac, greatest city in the world, Hell and misery, unknowable. City of dreams, built by a city of dreamers.