A Retrospective New Year

January 1st, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

Happy New Year. Let’s hope it’s a good one…..(in the words and music of John Lennon). As I look around me in glorious mid town Manhattan, I’m astonished to realize oldnyhow much has changed, how much of Olde New York has virtually vanished. Even as we speak, the city is fast relinquishing its old identity and evolving into something else. Old buildings, once ignored on my daily walks, have suddenly been razed and replaced with new ones and it’s only then they’re appreciated for the unique flavor they injected into the city’s mix. Or perhaps the city’s new offerings only enhance the old. But what is apparent is the overall newness of things and less of the Victorian New York once so familiar; the graceful curve of a wrought iron railing that edges a stairway, thick with paint from years gone by, the drippings hardened like capsules of time caught still. To see these things, one has to venture further and further downtown where life in Greenwich Village remains untouched. Somehow a cup of Joe in an old cafe tastes better than sitting in a non descript Starbuck’s. Why can’t we be more like our European counterparts and develop a rich and vast history spanning the test of time?
For me, new things have no soul. At least not yet. Give them another hundred years or so and they may begin to speak of things other than sparkle and shine. But by then, we’ll just tear it down, won’t we? I like things with a bit of tarnish to them. Something that says its been through the trenches, has had a life of its own and can convey a feeling. In this new year, let us celebrate what is old. Old values. Old memories. Old friends. I wish you the very best of what is old, and yes, the best of things to come. But things that can remain with us for a long time to ponder and consider. To enjoy for its aesthetic value. Whatever this obsession to rid us of our past, let us be reminded that we too are all too vulnerable to replacement. With this in mind, I invite you to stay awhile. Tell me, my friend…..what’s new?

So…………..whadayathink? Are you bothered by the under appreciation of our history? Or are you all too eager to be out with the old and in with the new? Why? What’s your hurry?

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4 Responses to “A Retrospective New Year”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    What a great piece of writing here !!! This belongs in the ‘New Yorker’ magazine “Talk of the town” section.

  2. magdalena Says:

    Michael, you flatter me to no end. Biased, I’m sure!

  3. Rick Says:

    Love is in the air

  4. Michael Tabor Says:


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