Paul Grenada

I’m a city boy, born and bred. Coming of age on the streets of Brownsville Brooklyn, going to college and coming into manhood in Harlem New York. I bleed concrete, basketball and 25 cent juices that were less toxic than some bands of bottled water.

I like the hustle and bustle; I like knowing that in order to get to where I am, I had to struggle, that I had to scrap and claw through everything this city had to throw at me. It gives me that New York swagger people from all over the world come here to see and emulate.

That being said

I’m tired of this place

I didn’t know I was tired of the city until I left it. And went up north, to Massachusetts. To the backwoods if you will.

Nothing but trees and wildlife, nothing but long roads and lakes, nothing but peace and quiet.

It’s like nothing I’ve ever had before.

Picture it if you will, a fall night, stars in the sky and moonlight you can actually see. You are outside with your significant other talking and cuddling and relaxing on the stoop.

You hear a sound that makes your head turn quickly, wondering if it’s gunshot, or stabbing, or siren or crackhead looking for change. You go “what’s that” because it’s dark, and dark means unseen, and unseen means someone talking to the news saying “He didn’t even see it coming, poor fella.”

It’s a deer in the bush looking for dinner.

Think about it.

I didn’t know I didn’t like the idea of having neighbors living right on top of you as opposed to down the block and out of your business. Or having a backyard to go and sit in when you don’t want to be in side. I figured going to the park and worrying if “them young boys” with the rags hanging feeling like I’m not one of them was the norm. NOPE…sometimes, some places you can go somewhere and just relax. That is something people in my income bracket just cant afford to get often enough to matter.

New York is and will always be the greatest city ever, greater than Rome or Babylon. Greater than any contemporary city in other countries around this tiny blue orb in the cosmos. But that greatness comes at a price.

Your sanity

Not knowing where the next problem will come from, the next headache, the next bill, the next piece of drama better suited for a post breakfast T.V. show starring Maury Povich. It wears on you, makes you tired, makes you not want to care, to stop working hard enough to pay those bills that give you those headaches that make you have arguments with that significant other that gives you another headache. It makes you look older than your years and wondering just where those years end. And the sad thing is, they don’t end, cause there are too many things depending on your years stretching out as far as they can.

Getting away is the only thing you can do.

Granted there can be too much piece and quiet, and hearing nothing but crickets for more than a month may just drive you up a wall. And yes, the idea of smelling skunk road kill 3 miles away is a bit tiresome. But even if it’s for a short time, it’ll give you that once chance to hear your heart beat go at a normal rythym, or to forget the cigs in the car because fresh air is so much more relaxing.

Next time you get the idea for a vacation, TAKE it. Don’t wait for the nervous breakdown or that one drink too many you took because your boss makes donkey’s look like good time managers. Yeah its good to be here, in the NY, in the city that never sleeps.

But just because the city never sleeps doesn’t mean YOU don’t have to.

Have a nice day.