Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What Is This 'New York' You Speak Of?

Lately, all I keep hearing about is how present-day New York is on the verge of becoming the New York of the 1970s--a time when the city was addled by high crime rates, near bankruptcy, and a malfunctioning subway system--but at least things were interesting. So I have to wonder if a return to 1970s-era New York is such a bad thing.

Aging celebrities always talk about how much "edgier" New York was back then, spawning the likes of Studio 54, the Ramones, CBGBs, et al. New York in the '70s is the New York my mom currently fears when I call her on my way home from work: "But it's dark! What are you doing out?!" which is when I look at all the suits with their lattes and the hipsters with their Macs in the Starbucks that are on adjacent corners and sigh.

Of course, I don't want to have to worry about getting mugged on the subway at two in the afternoon, but it would be nice if the New York I lived in is remembered for something other than excess and Sex and the City. There's so much more to New York than that, and I know it, but sometimes all the high gloss makes it hard to find.

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