I started a new job in NYC : the city where a thousand douchebags come out every time it rains to take photos of puddles along Broadway, and probably get into local galleries because NYC loves, above all else, NYC.
The job has been punctuated by subway trips along the 1 line, during which angry, bald men scream from passages of bibles which they (apparently) wrote, peppered with hellfire and train safety instructions. Or the other bald man who decided to stand up and groove in my face for a minute or two before 42nd street. You ignore these things, because attention is a catalyst for the remote potential of violence.
NYC feels like millions of people trying to justify why NYC exists; it is a dirty town with people desperately attempting to make it liveable by perpetuating the thin, tepid illusion of culture. If you deny it, you are a philistine. There is no strength in building a furrow and eking out an existence in the city : your furrow is built by money, not physical effort. Your money comes from manipulation : of an audience, of your bosses, of those you can push past. You rent a car to be able to bring groceries home from the one supermarket which doesn’t charge 40% over full retail price. You live in a small, expensive room : you buy an apartment for $500k because location makes you cool to a select crowd of the superficial, while a comparable price will buy you a luxury home in the Midwest, where strength is real, and effort is palpable.
There’s culture in NYC : the two button salesmen (Michael and Perry, I believe) being forced out of their office in the Garment District because of poor sales. Vintage iMacs and metal shelves stacked high with tens of thousands of buttons, and the stain of being in the same office for thirteen years. The old ladies who shuffle the streets on the Upper West Side, living there from the time when the city still had meaning. People live in NYC because things happen there, and it is a locus of activity, but it never feels like genuine activity.