February 6, 2013 · 5:56 pm
You thought visiting New York City would make you feel cool, but actually it makes you feel poor and un-busy.
You thought it would be sooooo different from the rest of America.
But really it’s the same, just better.
People talk like movies.
And the street names and landmarks are recognizable from your favorite CBS crime dramas.
Jogging through Central Park is a cliche, like everything else you do here.
Going to museums and making ‘hmmm’ sounds
does not diminish the fact that you went to MoMA primarily to scout for Facebook cover photos.
And that Prospect Park was a 585-acre struggle not to shout ‘why are you so fucking twee?!’ at the dogs and their walkers.
And that, fuck the locals, tall buildings are amazing and you’re going to stop every few steps to capture them.
You’re acutely aware that everything you can say or do or think in this place is already said, done, thunked.
So instead of trying anything new, you might as well spend it like a week at home.
See friends, eat meals,
take long bike rides as dangerous as they are destinationless,
take pictures of pedestrian shit like snowblowers, mouth open like some kind of Appalachian.
You don’t see everything,
Or maybe even anything.
But you realize as you leave, you were busy after all. And maybe even rich.
5 responses to “Nothing you can do that can’t be done”
If you’re my age, people in New York don’t talk like the movies. They talk like Sid Caesar’s Show of Shows. For about a year after I moved to New York, I thought everybody was constantly trying to raise a laugh, because I had only ever heard a New York accent come out of the mouth of a comedian. “Dya wanna have mayo wid dat toikey bagel?” is a legitimate question, not a punch line.
I can’t find words to express how much I enjoy your writings and photography.
The pictures are beautiful and the writing really cool. I really enjoyed it. hmm, i have said the same thing that Steve said in a different way. Does it still count as a comment?!
Ah the old conundrum of how to write about/think about/look at somewhere that has been so much written about-thought about-looked at, but somehow find a validity in your own doing so that makes it worth while for yourself and for anyone else who happens across your views.
Job done I’d say! I loved the format of this, it works so well and I may have to steal it some time. Beautiful pics too.
I’m so glad I found this blog. Your writing conveys a voice of warmth, compassion, gentle humor, and intelligence. The photographs here were great too; I loved the snow blower pic especially.