Valentines for NYC.


Whether you buy into Valentine$ Day or not, sometimes something happens to come along on this date that unexpectedly hits you right in the feelz. It happened to me today, reading love letters to New York from New Yorkers in the New York Daily News. Some are from celebrities; some from everyday people. Below, you can read one in rhythm and rhyme from Darryl McDaniels, aka D.M.C. of Run-D.M.C., one from J.W. Cortés, an “actor, philanthropist, [and] MTA police officer” I never heard of, and one from me.

As many of you can likely attest, you don’t have to live here to love New York City.

Darryl McDaniels, aka DMC, poses at his booth Darryl Makes Comics during 2019 Los Angeles Comic Con at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Paul Butterfield/Getty Images)Darryl McDaniels, aka DMC, poses at his booth Darryl Makes Comics during 2019 Los Angeles Comic Con at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Paul Butterfield/Getty Images)

 

Darryl McDaniels, aka DMC, Rap Pioneer

DMC The K-I-N-G

Here’s my Valentine letter to The N-Y-C

New York City I still love u

Oh how many hard times we have been through

Hard times are still spreading Just like the flu

But what’s going on

It ain’t nothing new

New York City

You know how we do

You are here for me

Like I am here for you

You will not crack when under attack

It’s a well known fact

You always bounce back

That’s the way it is

And It’s like that

New York where I’m from

New York where I’m at

They thought we’d drop

They think we’ll flop

You cannot stop the place that created Hip Hop

And that’s not all

They all have the gall

To pray and plan for your downfall

But you’ll surprise them

You’ll keep on rising

The greatest city in the world

So mesmerizing

So all the suckers

Let them leave

For those we’ve lost

We all shall grieve

And our turntables will keep on spinning

This isn’t the end It’s the beginning

Turn up my mic

So I can say it loud

This is my city

And I am proud

I’m DMC

In the place to be

And that place for me

Is the NYC

__________

J.W. Cortes attends the Maestro Cares Third Annual Gala Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on March 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)J.W. Cortes attends the Maestro Cares Third Annual Gala Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on March 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

 

J.W. CORTÉS, Actor, philanthropist, MTA police officer

You may not feel as pretty as before, maybe your eyes don’t have that sparkle like they used to, and you’re feeling run down and tired but when I look at you, I’m sorry, I don’t see that. I just don’t. I still see the girl who could light up the sky like no one else, the one who opened up her heart and shared it with the world. The one who still gives me the chills and the one who I said my first ‘I love you’ to. Maybe you don’t see it now, but I’m telling you baby you are still my number one, my everything. When we get back to being us again, I’m going to make sure we hold each other tighter than ever before, because baby we will always have each other. And that’s not just a thing, it’s everything. Te quiero New York City!

__________

IRIS VANDER PLUYM, New Yorker

My beloved city still holds the same spell over me it always did. No other place has ever felt like *home* to me. It’s where I have that singular feeling of belonging. Where I find my tribe, and found my family. Where I cannot help but trip over countless sparks of joy and inspiration, or fall, headlong and deep, into “wow” moments.

While our city stands battered and beleaguered, beaten down by the pandemic, broken by police violence, besieged by murder and madness, businesses (whether newly-launched lifetime dreams, or monuments to generations of family blood, sweat and tears) ravaged and razed, beset with homelessness and hunger–yet it still stands.

While this merciless season of sorrow and death is visited upon us, I stand here brokenhearted over everyone and everything we have lost. And yet, I have stood here before: the blackouts, 9/11, Hurricane Sandy. I already know what happens next in this movie, for those who have managed to remain. We rise. We mourn our dead. We do not rebuild so much as reimagine-and-build. A new and strange kind of shrine rises up out of the dark ashes and heavy dust of yesterday. A shrine that only New Yorkers who live this day can see: those who can remember, in their hearts and in their dreams, what stood here before.

I will stand, and I will remember.

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