This page, WRITE TO A PICTURE, is an invitation to our regular writers and to our visitors. Send an original poem, a story, or your recollections. Share your thoughts and experiences with those who like to READ what others write. Send to me at LaraOct7@aol.com.

 Early 'Write To A Picture' pages are archived. The links are here:

Beach Scene "1"
Old Train Station "2"
The Carousel "3"
The Fifties "4"
Summer Picnic "5"
From The Heart "6"
Cloudy Moon "7"
September Morn "8"
Passing The Time "9"
Apples "10"
Rain "11"
Pumpkins "12"
Halloween "13"
Big City "14"





 


Your Title

By Your Name (LaraOct7@aol.com)







Big City! A big city can be exciting and it can be intimidating. As most of you know, I grew up in a rural area, far away from a big city. Town was 14 miles away and it wasn't until I was married that I visited a big city. I rode a train to Philadelphia, PA and when I got off and entered that big train station I just stood and gaped. I did the same when I went outside and saw the tall buildings. The sidewalks were full of people and it was noisy!

What experiences have you had in a big city? What is YOUR big city? For me, it would have to be New York City. In fact, the featured picture is one I took just a few weeks ago when I was in Manhattan.

We would love to read your thoughts on a Big City. Submit your memories, musings, a poem or a story. Fiction or fact, we look forward to your entry.






 


Big City

By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)





Noise and pollution I'd rather be here
Living in desert is so very dear
Keep your traffic and city crowded ways
I'll live in quiet the rest of my days









 


I Love New York City

By Jeanie (Mingo184@aol.com)





I grew up in a relatively middle sized city in Connecticut. But, when I was 19, I got a job with Eastern Airlines in their New York City office as a teletype operator. (the young folks reading this are probably thinking "what the heck is a teletype operator?" but that's another story.)

I remember getting off the train in Grand Central station and finding my way to the airline office off 5th avenue. I was mesermized by the hustle and bustle of the big city. I thought to myself "whatever am I doing here"? But, in time, I became just another New Yorker. I loved and still do love New York City. I found places to shop and places to eat and shows to see. I went to a ball game in Yankee Stadium and cheered Mickey Mantle when he came to bat. I got on an elevator one day and found myself facing a very young and up and coming new star..Jack Lemmon.

With a friend, we found a little Italian eatery off Broadway called The Grotto , that had a back dining room that looked like it was actually in a grotto. I wonder if that restaurant is still there. The food was great, as I recall.

Years later, I was working for Eastern as an Air freight agent at JFK airport. I'd been injured on the job and a year after I had to go to the Workmen's Compensation board which was then located in the World Trade Center. I got on the train in Queens and never was outside again until I got home. I took the train to Penn Station and then a subway to the World Trade Center. I came up the escalator into a huge commissary with shops and a food court and told myself to stop on my way out for a snack. I went up into tower 2 to the 53rd floor and checked in. while waiting to be called for my case, I walked over to the huge window, which was from floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass. It startled me as to how high up I was and I just marvelled at the city below. When 9/11 happened, I put myself in that room and looked out that window and wondered how it must've felt for someone looking out that same window that horrible day and seeing a plane streaking towards them. I closed my eyes and shuddered.

Going back to NYC is always a treat for me. Now that I am back in Connecticut, I've managed to return there only twice and had to be pushed around in a wheelchair because I sure can't keep up in that crowd anymore. But, I still love the noise, the rush of adrenline, going down 5th Avenue and stopping in St. Patrick's Cathedral, looking in the window at Sak's and shopping F.A.O. Schwartz and meandering in part of Central Park. Last time I was there, with my niece and her fiancee, we ate at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant.

I wouldn't want to live there, but it's always fun to visit. It is never boring. How could it be? It's the center of everything..New York City!








 


"Big City Blues"

By Mary (MusingByMary@aol.com)





Blues is the sound
those BIG CITY BLUES . . .
cacophony blaring with
many~colored hues ~


Neon flashin' above
between and below . . .
red ~ white & blues
their colors aglow ~


Cabbies equipped
for a ride short or long . . .
stale perfume & cigars
have you smell'd that song? ~


Skyscrapers exchanging
bits of gossip, the spin . . .
can you hear the whispers
over that din? ~


Shoppers all rushin'
in one store ~ out another . . .
smog from vehicles
can cause one to smother ~


Down one street are boxes
filled with bag ladies ~ derelicts . . .
blues sung by the homeless
the crack~heads turnin' tricks ~


Coffee shops ~ delis
bars ~ dives galore . . .
boom~boxes groovin'
monotonous score ~


Rappers are rappin'
hear the dancers tap shoes . . .
heh ~ there're playin' our song
BIG CITY BLUES !


Mary Carter Mizrany©
October 30, 2006









 


Big City

By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)





The city, the hustle, the bustle so many people all going a different way, makes an old country boy stand there and get dizzy. Trucks unloading, people going in and out, some even drink stout. Signs on building so big and tall, makes a person wonder what is going on.

Traffic all in a hurry, everyone must go over hither. People walking the side walk they want, you better get out of their way. Stores filled with all sorts of wares, even polka-dot underwear.

I stand and look, shaking my head, thanking the good lord I do not have to live there. Could not the congestion stand, could not fathom living there.

Then into a tavern I drop, order a beer and a dog. Start talking to a lady who lives there. She is laughing at me and the way I dress. Rube she calls me, the hick from the sticks. Boy, she tells me, I do talk funny. I shake my head trying to comprehend and only catch about ever fortieth word.

She was born there fifty years ago, has never lived anywhere else. Can’t understand why people move, says anyone leaving there would have to be a dang fool. “Geeks, kooks and crazies live out there, this is God’s given place,” she says.

I finish my dog, wipe my mouth, then finish my beer and stand up. “What a zoo, what a place, guess I am crazy for home I am a going.” She laughs as I invite her out, tell her in the big city I do live. 50,000, the largest city in the state.”

She laughs and says, “Oh, here that is less than a borough.”

I go to my meeting and as soon as it is done, to the airport I run with abandon. I have been, I have seen. Gosh, I wonder why more do not scream.








 


The City

By Amy (Fabulousfilly@aol.com)





THE CITY SLEEPS AT THREE AM
THEN AWAKENS AT DAWN
WHERE OUT IN THE COUNTRY
YOU ARE FEEDING THE FAWN
THE CITY BUSTLES, WITH NOISE AND DIN
WHERE OUT IN THE COUNTRY,YOU CAN HERE A PIN..
THE CITY EXCITING AS IT CAN BE
THE COUNTRY IS WHERE I WOULD LIKE TO FLEE ..









 


Big City

By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)





Am I the only one who doesn't know?
East or West,,,which way to go?
Uptown, downtown and all around.
I'm so lost I may never be found.


All that are here know this place.
I could be in outer space.
Honking and yelling in the air.
Who can I ask? Do I even dare?


Up the street and around the block,
This could be a terrific shock!
Street signs missing and they don't mind.
Looked for an address I can't find.


Should have asked my friends to meet me.
Is this any way to treat me?
Small town lady in the big city,
Surely is a "Town Without Pity"!!!


Long night is finally over,
I felt like a Gypsy rover.
I admit I got a bit off the track,
Now that I'm leaving...can't wait to go back!









 


Good Neighbors

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)





Thanks for the jack, Mack. It’s gonna take us a while to get this sucker on the road, and I’ll understand if you have the opportunity to go on and leave us. Jim’s got to dig out half this load to get to the tire, but I believe this jack is tall enough to make it. Yeah, yeah, can you hear me? Horns honking all the way back to 33rd and 3rd! If you go, I promise I’ll get the jack back to you tomorrow - bring it myself. Do you know what a godsend you are? Someone who cares in the middle of this big city. Do you know you’re even in danger here? Looks like the cabs are making it, though. You’re gonna stay and help, you say. Man, you’re the man! And to think the city would put up a picture of a power fist. What kind of respect will that make? Sweat’s pouring off us, but we’ll make it. Gotta get this stuff out to the burbs to a wedding. There’s a jittery bride waiting for her reception decorations. Rush, rush, rush - that’s what city’s all about. You say your folks moved here from the country? Well, now, that’s why you’ve still got a bit of kindness in ya. I dream about fresh mown hay, horse barns and chickens. Neighbors helping neighbors. But you know, I gotta a job - don’t know if I could make it on a farm. Hear they’re being swallowed up by the big boys. Guess I’ll just have to stay here. Come home to your folks' old place with you for Thanksgiving? Turkey on the farm? Oh, you’re too much. Can I bring my wife, 6 kids. You really mean that? Always room for a few more at the house? Oh, man, I’m tempted and I’ll sure talk to the missus. Got a card? No, I don’t either, but I got a pencil. You mean Jim, too? Truth, you’re too much. Damn worth a flat tire.

Aw, you horns shaddup - we got a good thing going here!








 


The City

By Brier (Brierhillbarbara@aol.com)





THE CITY COMES ALIVE ABOUT DAWN
JUST LIKE THE COUNTRY.
IN THE CITY, TRASH IS GATHERED AND PUT IN TRUCKS.
IN THE COUNTRY WE GATHER OUR TRASH AND DIVIDE IT.


WE DIVIDE TRASH TO RECYCLE.
WE TRY TO SEND TOYS TO THE SALVATION ARMY
IN THE CITY THEY RECYCLE ALSO
IN THE COUNTRY WE PRAY AT THE CHURCH ON SUNDAYS.


IN THE COUNTRY WE MAKE THINGS LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
CITY FOLKS DO TOO, WE ALL TRY TO DO OUR BEST.
PERHAPS WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK TOGETHER.
PERHAPS IF WE TRY WE CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER.


LIFE, NO MATTER WHERE
IS STILL LIFE TO BE ENJOYED
AND IMPROVED UPON.
DONT LET THE HUM AND BUMPS MAKE YOU CRANKY.


LIFE IS CHOICES MADE AND LIVED BY
WE MAKE OUR CHOICES
DREAM OUR DREAMS
COUNT OUR BLESSINGS


AMEN








 


Big City

By Norma (Norma1223@aol.com)





AMID THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE
OF NEW YORK'S TEEMING STREETS
ONE LONELY TREE STANDS


GIVING SHADE TO PASSERSBY
A BIT OF GREENERY
IN THE NEON-LIT CITY









 


THE BIG CITY HAS MANY FACES - WEARS MANY MASKS

By Evelyn (Evenccw@aol.com)





Nestled safely in the warmth of my mother’s love, my favorite bedtime story was “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse.” It was in those early years that I had a sense of the dichotomy between country and city living. A gift Mama gave me was my pride in being a “dyed in the wool country girl.” I was a country mouse and proud of it. When my city cousins visited and spent nights on the farm they were served with country hospitality and good country eating!

In my early years Birmingham and Cincinnati were the embodiment of big city life. Life on the farm was good. Mama laughed when she told of her Cousin George’s visits from Birmingham when she was a little girl. Unaccustomed to the country without city lights, she said that he was “blind as a a bat.” He stepped in every puddle when they walked the country roads at night. Cousin George was no doubt the “City Mouse” in the bedtime story!

My Uncle Joe chose city living over the bucolic country life and found work in Cincinnati and raised his family there. When Aunt Martha visited from Cincinnati ‘up north,’ Cousin Johnny refused to drink the milk that “came from a cow!” Cousins Ralph and Louis wanted to know, “Where are the machines (cars)?” There weren’t many cars on the dirt country roads in my youth! Uncle Joe was so taken with city life that he never returned to his place of birth. It was many years later that I met, and came to know, my Uncle Joe on a visit to Cincinnati. I had the thrill of experiencing Cincinnati first hand with Uncle Joe as my guide.

When my parents relocated in Barberton, Ohio (on the outskirts of Akron) in 1946, Akron was still the Rubber Capital of the World. In my eyes Akron was a big city. The trolley came through Barberton and streetcar rides were a nickel. Goodyear, Firestone, Goodrich, General Tire and last but not least, Quaker Oats were companies that attracted workers from far and wide. By some standards Akron may not have been a BIG CITY, but to me the trolley ride into the heart of Akron was always a thrill whether it was to a movie or to shop at its major department stores, O’Neil’s and Polsky’s. Today, Polsky’s has been converted into many class rooms as a major addition to the University of Akron. O’NEIL’s is now an office complex with restaurants. The grain elevators of Quaker Oats is an architectural accomplishment–a Hilton Hotel with round rooms! In the jargon of historic preservation, these buildings went through a process called “adaptive reuse.”

After many years, I take joy in living in Akron. A large part of Akron’s population has moved to the suburbs. Shopping is done in shopping malls and strip mall that keep on proliferating. Akron is the town where Tom raised our family. This is the town that our six children call their “hometown.”

I love Akron because it is large enough to have the ambience and convenience of city living. It is close enough to Cleveland to the north so that within a half-hour’s drive I can experience the cosmopolitan flair of big city life. To the south, a few minutes drive takes me to my first love, the bucolic rural life. Forty-five minutes to the south there is the cultural world of the Amish where I enjoy taking mini vacations for a day from time to time. Holmes County has the largest concentration of Amish in the world.

No matter its size, each city is identifiable by its skyline with its own special charisma. Each is an inspiring sight to the heart that claims a city as its own! Driving north on I-77, I love Cleveland’s skyline warmed by dawn’s early light. It gleams at sunset as one approaches Jacobs Field for an Indians’ game or the Gund Arena for a Cav’s game. At night the skyline glistens. The skyline from the north over the shores of Lake Erie is spectacular. Coming in for a landing over Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, the city below is a welcoming sight to lay eyes on. My heart always skips a beat.

I look upon a cacophonic, bustling city street with taxies all about and horns honking as an abstraction of everyday life. A scene of a busy Manhattan street, replete with garbage truck and taxies has the “Lion King” theme song invading every sinew of my being! In most cities the scene changes at “quitting” time. Using my hometown, Akron, as a model, the “skin” of the city, in recent years, has changed. At 5:00 p.m. the city empties to the suburbs and

In the jungle, the mighty jungle
the lion sleeps tonight.



The downtown streets are emptied and life begins to teem on the periphery. An occasional ambulance with sirens blaring slices the silence of the cavernous streets rushing the wounded, the sick and the dying to hospitals which, luckily, never sleep. And the same is true

Near the village, the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village, the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight



Big city, bucolic country life, village, burg, suburbia, when you come right down to it, we are all survivors, playing unscripted roles. Life in the real world, in the city or the country, isn’t always fair. Women in the country become widowed when their husbands are crushed under tractors or combines. Women in the city become widowed when their husbands die in the line of duty as fire fighters or policemen. We all know people who’ve worked harder and smarter, whether in the city or the country who got bigger breaks than others or were promoted over by others. In the long run it’s not always the best person who wins but the one who plays the game the best. In the words of another song, as long as “We Bloom Where We’re Planted” we will always thrive whether we are city or country dwellers.

In my studies of BIG CITIES from the Atlantic to the Pacific I have pondered their skylines. No doubt, each city shares some of the essence of Carl Sandburg’s immortal poem, “Chicago.” I love his personification of “Chicago.” In his poem, Chicago has experienced it all! And the BIG CITY lives on!


CHICAGO


HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler,
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders


They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunmen kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;


Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking
Planning
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle.
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse,
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler of the Nation.



Finally, when Sandburg wrote his immortal FOG, I wonder if he was talking about Chicago, Cleveland, Akron, or any other city I chanced to pass through as I have journeyed through my life!



FOG


THE fog comes
on little cat feet,


It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.









 

 

 

 



Watch these pages for more of these "Write to a Picture" pages.
In the meantime, click the links below for
poems and stories by our other authors.


Under The Halloween Moon

Fall Garden

Commitment To Change

Decisions, Decisions

A Ghostly Experience

Hand in Hand

Halloween





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