Imagine an island only two miles wide. Like all islands, it’s surrounded by water. But oddly, most of that water is walled off or separated from the island’s 1.6 million inhabitants.
Only on rare occasions do the inhabitants even touch the water; and usually, it’s because the water is being brought to them through a strange meteorological event like a hurricane.
The island in question is Manhattan, of course. The financial, theater, and fashion capitol of America, but also a modest piece of land surrounded by water.
Phillip Lopate is an American film critic, essayist, fiction writer, poet, teacher, and lifelong New Yorker. He’s the author of “Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan.” He's well-acquainted with Manhattan’s peculiar relationship with the water.