When I was in my senior year of high school, I was in our drama club's production of 'Godspell', a musical retelling of the story of Jesus. (I played Jesus.) One of the songs in the show is called "Beautiful City." The song has its origin in the 1973 movie version of the show, which sets the action in NYC. Fordham has a favorite motto that goes, "New York is my campus, Fordham is my school." Phrases like that get a little old by the time you're a senior, but I'm glad to say that it's true. I'm grateful that Fordham has let me experience NYC and see it as a very beautiful city. I spent last February-June in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is certainly a beautiful city; and my week-long Fordham service project this March to New Orleans (donate here if you can!) will, I'm sure, let me see the ways in which NOLA is beautiful as well. But I suppose it's true that there's no place like New York.
The photo above was taken this past Monday. I had visited the Episcopalian Cathedral of St. John the Divine once before; it's a very beautiful building. I never would have visited it in the first place if it didn't have a special significance for me: Madeleine L'Engle, who was writer-in-residence there for many years, is interred in its columbarium. As a writer, I acutely feel the influence of all the different writers who have influenced me, and L'Engle is definitely one of them. 'A Wrinkle in Time' is important to me; seeing great beauty in NYC, as in the rose window in St. John the Divine, is important to me. (I also enjoy seeing the Poets' Corner in the cathedral.) It was only upon coming to Fordham that I firmly decided that I would be a writer. There are certainly cities in the world with great beauties that NYC lacks; I hope to visit them someday. But I think I can certainly be grateful for the beauty that is in New York.