The Prologue

It did not seem like a real city, with the messiness of street life and the mix of sounds, smells and inadvertant human contact.
It was instead, empty. The tall gleaming postmodern towers piped baroque quartets into streets bare of cars, people and even litter. The small cluster of buildings ended abruptly, ringed by highway bordered by endless brush, low trees and vast space.
Where was everyone? What was going on here?
My friend, who lived here, said "You're not in New York anymore."
I began to think about the varieties of city life, and feel an odd longing for that familiar pulsing energy.