There is no other place to live, but stay where you are.
New York is a trip. A rare gift, revealling itself slowly and
cautiously. An open book of often inscrutable text. New York City is
printed onto the very piece of paper that proves I am even alive.
New York is a hometown, a place to sleep, eat, love.
New York treats me differently than it treats you. It will never mean to
me what it means to you. Sadly, I will never experience it for the first
time, yearn to move there, die with unrequited love for it or have it
blow my mind, like it has blown yours.
Millions of people move to New York, wringing their hands- how do I act?
How mean is a New Yorker? How do people get what they want here, and how
do they afford it? The "coolest" people from Akron, Gainesville,
Seattle, and "Detroit" (in quotes because people that say they are from
Detroit are invariably lying) climb atop the human garbage heap and
attempt to plant a flag in something they will never own.
My "imported" friends often impress me with their voracious appetite for
the new. Most likely they have been to newer bars than me - and more of
them. They already heard about the party I want to go to tonight - 2
weeks ago, (juss sayin) They have walked across all the bridges, (but
rarely have ridden the Staten Island ferry), sighted tons of celebs and
pretended not to care, DJ'ed at wherever, think they can tell you where
the best pizza is (yeah right) etc. Why? Because they think its some
kind of "rad dude race" ...and it isn't. It's just another place. And
going to 30 art openings doesn't make you more of a New Yorker. (It does
make you a cheap date though, no shame in that game)
The peace of ownership won't come when you mistakenly declare Stromboli
the best pizza place. It's not when you learn that the one train that
doesn't run 24 hours is the 42nd St shuttle. Not even when you know that
Rocco's is the best bakery, can pronounce sfogliotelle, know what a
'herb' is, hear Minetta Lane used to be a creek, there are free drinks
at Lit pretty much every night, don't wait for the "walk" sign, know
where the original Lone Star stood, or that Brearley has the best drama
program but Chapin has better uniforms.
New York will not be yours to own, it's not for sale. It's kind of like
how I will never dream in French.
I knew this girl from Toronto who "lived" in New York for a few months.
She once asked if I was there for September 11th (a test!) and I said I
wasn't. I had just left. She hadn't. She was in Brooklyn. This was
LEVERAGE. For surely, what had I to lose sitting, geographically, 500
miles away? I wish I had recorded all my phone calls that day. Talking
with Post reporter Bill Hoffmann as the second tower crumbled before his
eyes. My frantic cousin in a cab heading down from Lincoln Centre in a
panic-stricken and consequently aborted mission to find his father and
sister, working in the NY Stock Exchange. They stumbled through dust so
thick they were in complete darkness for a short eternity. There are
pictures, but I didn't take them - New York wasn't mine then
How can I say this again? New York is like a tattoo. It won't ever come
off, and you can't buy one, borrow one, or draw one on yourself.
To say nothing shocks me, is not to say nothing thrills me. I'm not
jaded. I don't treat New York like old news or "a typical hometown" -
picture an overzealous sports-fan, face painted, shouting in the stands.
For every complaint I utter, that's still me. Like a mom who can lift a
car off her baby - I will lift your smug countenance off your body.
Anybody with $3.95 can buy a copy of TimeOut. Any kinda ugly, skinny
girl of various ethnic make-up can model for American Apparel. Why am I
even talking about the perceived problem of hijacked authenticity? Maybe
because I'm vulnerably separated from my town. Maybe because I'm sick of
fuckers trying to tell me shit about it. Stuff that doesn't matter like
dorky "art collectives" or "political protests" - don't they know that
what matters is that delis make coffee and tea for $1. That not only are
New Yorkers the best New Yorkers, the businessmen are the best
businessmen. Donald Trump didn't make his home in LA.
New York already has one of you. Why do you deserve to be there? The
history of New York has already been written and you were not Bob Dylan,
Nico, Jackie Kennedy or Jack Kerouac. You realize that by leaving a
burgeoning scene in a 2nd tier city, that city is worse now for the loss
of you. To me, that's kinda treason? To me, that's identity theft.
Fuck, I don't mean to get all DeNiro-style dramatic about it. Anyone can
live there, have a great time, experience all New York has to offer- I'm
just trying to illustrate the difference THAT experience engenders as
opposed to being a native and how it is extremely unlikely one will ever
be exchanged for the other - and how that is fine as long as one refuses
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July 18 - 16 July 2007
Weekly recap. - 28 May 2007
That's Immaterial! - 25 May 2007
A Shalom to Arms! - 07 May 2007
YEAH RIGHT - 20 April 2007