At the Edge of the Alley is a Quarry

Many don't know it, but New York City is perched precariously on the edge of a ravine. What lies below are treasures so vast and deep Midas himself couldn't fathom the wealth. It is so seductive millions of people from around the world come into this city and either plant themselves near the edges, clutching some tall grasses, or skim the sides on a Big Apple Double Decker bus, in hopes to glimpse at the glistening rewards waiting below. "To be a top Fashion Designer," "To be a Broadway Star," "To Make it on Wall Street," "To be a Real Estate Mogul," "To be a Dog-Walker for the Stars," "To be the Architectural Digest Interior Designer of the Year," "To Win a Pulitzer Prize!" All these dreams and more await anyone who has the energy, drive, ambition, and enough cab fare to come to New York and follow their dreams.

Consider mine for instance (since I am writing this article). I came to New York, my birth town, to make it in acting. I studied at one of the top Drama schools, performed in enough school plays to warrant moderate approval, and began my beat of getting headshots, rehearsing monologues and "pounding the pavement" for agents and parts. But I didn't want to be a starving actress, and I didn't want to wait tables. I also didn't want to look back at my life when I was 30 (which seemed like an eternity then) and say all I did was pursue something. I wanted to have something really tangible that I could hold in my hands and say "I did this!"

I also began a true introspection and realized Acting was not the vehicle for my creative expression. I wasn't sure what was, but being the next Sarah Bernhardt wasn't it. I fell into web design. It showed up one morning bright and early at my job one day when my boss returned from an AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists) conference. "I want a website! We've got to get Mosaic," he exclaimed. Being the only employee, it was up to me to figure out what this meant and do it; which I did.

My web career thus far has been infinitely more rewarding than any attempts at pursuit in acting have been. And now its taken on another completely different swing. I've begun writing. And I'm published. Weekly. This is something totally new for me. I wrote religiously in personal journals since I was 8 years old, yet never pursued writing professionally (till now). My invitation to write was based on experience and recognition for web design and social event planning work. Hence my beat as the @NY's Cyber Scene (some say Gossip) Columnist. My column, @The Scene, has seen modest success and I have experienced the ego-stroking pleasure writers get when someone exclaims "Oh! I read your ______ (article/book/story/etc.)

Millions upon millions of people still flock to New York City every year. Some just visit on Holiday, some stay for a year, some stay for the rest of their lifetime. New York affords everyone that opportunity. This is the place where anyone can seize the day and grab opportunity's bull by the horns. Come to New York, seize the apple, take a bite out of it, and realize your potential.

I write this as I sit on the precipice of my own potential. And hope too, to see it realized.

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Copyright 1998 Courtney Pulitzer
Background by Heather Champ