Thursday, October 4, 2012

Taking The Long Way Home

Marty and Goggla

Just because you weren't born here doesn't mean you don't belong here.

That's what I told Tripping With Marty when he announced he was going back to Peoria.

(I don't know where it is and I know I could google it, but I think I need to keep the mystery alive.)

So we all gathered at Odessa to say hello and then to say goodbye.

Nineteen years ago, Marty landed in a roach infested hotel room on the upper west side.  Roaches or no roaches, he didn't wasted a moment, doing more in this city than a dozen writers could have done in the same amount of time, daring to go where no imagination had gone before.   "A lot about being a New Yorker is going beyond the fear," he said in a voice that had walked into 365 noisy dive bars.

But over fried beige foods and brutally funny off-the-record-stories of a New York no longer on the streets, diaspora emerged

Rent, even his rare kind, was high, work was scarce, and, like all of us who belonged here, it was getting tougher and tougher to watch our home be erased bit by bit, street by street, artist by artist.  The diner counter, the bar stool, the affordable apartment where we had found one another was joining the fate of ice caps and the rain forest.  And that roach infested hotel was now a luxury something or other.  How, then, could a writer or painter or musician or dancer or for that matter anybody who belong here, stay here?

"Here isn't Here anymore," the Mariner said, splitting the last piece of a latke.

No.  Here was now virtual.  Here was in blogspheres and email, texts, and tweets.  Perhaps where we belonged was not a state, but a state of mind.  And perhaps that place could be anywhere.

Like Peoria.

Related Posts

A Guy Walks Into 365 Bars

Tripping With Marty

Marty Wombacher

The Gog In NYC

Part One: Home Work - Goggla

Bloggers Gone Wild

Sunday Memories: Broadway of The East

The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Six- Home Where My Love Lies Waiting

The Last Meal

In Case Of Emergency


Marty Wombacher said...

Thanks for this Claire, it was so nice to share memories with you and Ted at lunch! I moved here to meet people like you and all my other friends and I'm grateful for all of the friendships I've made and for all the stories I can tell. You summed up my 19 years here beautifully. And now, it's time to start the next chapter in Peoria!

Laura Goggin Photography said...

There are people who might live here their entire lives and still not enjoy and appreciate all the NYC has to offer. I'm so glad I was able to meet Marty and share in some of his fun. And, although it makes me sad to think the city is losing a truly genuine star, I wish him luck and happiness.


"Boris" said...

What wonderful words, to a wacky character I have had the pleasure of not only knowing, but working with him along the way. Seeing as he will only be an hour from me very soon, perhaps we can make a little noise now and then, with plenty-o-bail money on hand.

JM said...

That was really lovely, thanks for starting my day with a beautifully written tribute to a terrific guy.

Chris and I hope to see you Wednesday at Marty's gathering, and maybe this time we'll actually talk with you! Ha ha

c.o. moed said...


Biff said...

I only know New York the way I do because of Marty. This is a real nice tribute to a one-of-a-kind guy...excuse me, I meant Master Snackologist. Happy trails, Wombacher! I can't wait to meet Peoria.