In Vincent Minnelli's MGM musical, "Meet me in St. Louis," child
actress Margaret O'Brien's character proclaims how lucky she was to
have been born in her favorite city, that of the movie's title.
I wasn't. I don't think Bensenville, Ill., makes many top 10
lists, unless you count the number of jets taking off from O'Hare
that pass over it 24 hours a day. But now I make my home in New
York City and I think of this great, bubbling, messy masterpiece as
my home town.
On Saturday, my feelings for Little Old New York hit me like an
Acme safe landing on Daffy Duck's head. I walked outside and made
my way the two or three blocks from my apartment over to Times
Square. Thousands of people were gathered there watching dozens of
Broadway stars belt out musical numbers from shows currently
running on The Great White Way.
Overhead, the Sony Jumbotron -- that huge TV screen mounted high
over the square -- gave folks in the back the big picture of what
was happening up front. And this was free. Free! It was wonderful.
You should have been there.