Many confuse O'hara's more famous poem" A Step Away from Them" with this poem "Steps". The poem is an observation, initially, of the things that are going on around the poet in the city. The reference to Ginger Rogers in Swingtime evokes a sort of idealizaed and romantic feeling toward the city. He uses the sights, sounds, smells of the city to forge a connection between the city and the people, and in the end, the people to each other. He is alternately cynical and romantic when describing the city and its people. He explores the topics of true connection and observes it on both a profane and sacred level. He speaks of congestion serving as an excuse for people to be close, and his reference to 'curgical appliances' may be O'Hara's way of mocking the one night stands and the metaphor of surgical appliances as that of a sexual organ. He breaks this by speaking about this false sense of true connection and instead is offered a more cynical reality that false connections lead nowhere. Then, he ties that in with the art world in NY, offering the same scrutiny that juxtaposes true art with the image obsessed starlets. He urges the reader to understand and recognize the true elements of love, beauty, connection, and art when they see it....and to acknowledge it.