A Melancholic Rave

St. Paul's College, Raheny

Downtown Brooklyn

New York


Dear Rosemary,

I miss you. I miss you and the Emerald Isle. The green fields and bipolar weather. The friendly nature of every soul. New York is a sight to behold. Intimidating, a looming giant. Far from the likes of the B.F.G. Despite this, I feel accepted here. I’m a single entity, contributing to a whole mass of creativity and ambition that drives this city. I’m alone but not lonely. It took me time to realise this but when I did, I felt closer to finding myself than I ever have. This city is constantly moving, the youth are the future and this city knows it. That’s something I had never witnessed in Ireland. New York operates on youthful enthusiasm and individuality whereas Ireland I feel functions on tradition and historical pride. I’m based in Downtown Brooklyn, a gritty and harsh suburban land. A place that quickly introduced me to the realities of life in a compact and bustling city. I never thought that police sirens could be classified as white noise. Initially, this area was depressing and exposed the fragility of life to me, but as time passes it allows me to witness a lot of acts of humanity and show me the significance that goals and aspirations have on my life. My first night out in the Big Apple was unforgettable. You can’t possibly begin to imagine it, mother. Night-time in NYC is when everything happens, the time when opportunities are found, and connections are made. Being an artist in New York is a hard task, but thanks to a friend I made in my block, I quickly came to see the equal importance of connections alongside the art itself. This is a city of expression and the nightlife reflects it. Everywhere I’ve been I’ve found the unusual and carefree. From the wild youths of the rave culture with the dress-code “less is more” to the prestigious and ever-so knowledgeable jazz enthusiasts and poets. An artist falls right down the middle, tying these contrasting cultures together. The rave culture fascinated me. I witnessed these young expressionists all gather into one dirty suburban basement. No one quite there, all under the influence of cheap drink and whatever drug was floating around that week. Nobody spoke, you couldn’t possibly, the music was too loud. Instead, they communicated through dance, rhythm and simple body expression. It was hypnotic to observe, so much so that I’ve been documenting it, nightly. It has allowed me to open up my perspectives and realise the individuality present within every single one of us. The jazz enthusiasts and poets challenge the same idea in a more melancholic manner. The balance between these two lifestyles allows me to live a fluctuating, vibrant life. It sums up the city, never-ending, a constant flow of genius and passion. All the same. I long to sit in the land of green, by the stove, with a cup of your tea.

I’ll return mother.

Love, Michael.