I Do Not Live In NYC

Recently I’ve been reading Good Jobbb like it’s my job.  That was terrible, but moving on.  Quilty oft writes posts about how he does not live in NYC.  For example, No Necked Blues:

Lots of frisky li’l princesses and dudes think that New York is the only place in the world where you can be a young person thinking about literature and then see an old guy trying hard to barf at 9 a.m. Not so!

I just picked up the Jan. 5 issue of the New Yorker after a 5 hour drive up the 5.  It seemed like 50.  I got so depressed I honestly thought I might vanish into thin air.

But quickly I got to “Shouts & Murmurs” by Amy Ozols, this week titled “Looking your Best.”   I’m tempted to transcribe the entirety of of the article here, which is written in list form.  I’ll just write the first item that I found that lifted me out of hyper-depressive lack of existence and made me laugh out loud:

Step 2: Visualize yourself as a thin person. This is very important, because the body often takes its signals from the brain.  Each time you take a bite of food, imagine that you are a thin person taking a bite of food, chewing the food, then spitting the food into a napkin, then tucking the napkin into your backpack or purse.  After you’re done visualizing these things, start doing them.

Then I got to page 36: “It Took A Village: How the Voice changed journalism” by Louis Menand.  Skimming the article and picking up little bits of Floyd Dell and Village lore, and just the sight of the names John Cage, Miles Davis, and James Agee practically brought me to tears.  I’ve never been more miserable that I don’t live in New York.


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4 responses to “I Do Not Live In NYC

  1. shoos!!!!! This is ineffably sweet. Reading that (great) Menand Village Voice article does make one pine for the East, but note that his piece ends in like 1981, if not earlier: there’s no talk of what happened to the Voice (or New York) since then, or how (as I’d originally hoped that piece would describe) they fired all the editors and staff writers (Robert Christgau, James Ridgeway, Dennis Lim, Ed Park, Chuck Eddy, the list goes on and on) that made the latter-day Voice special and not identical to, like, say, the SF Weekly.

    And hey: you’ve got the East Bay Express, which as far as I can tell wipes a filthy Taqueria floor with the VV of today! And Dept. of Eagles are playing at the Cafe du Nord at the end of the month! Etc!!!

    Today I walked over to Cortland Street to buy groceries but, as on most weekends that I end up in Bernal Heights to buy groceries, I went into the excellent Red Hill books first. (Question: has blogging made my writing style insufferably chatty and boring and asinine? Answer: No, it was always that way! I love the Internet!! I am leaving a long comment on your blog!!!!!) Yesterday I’d gone to the Jack Spicer (a SAN FRANCISCO poet, yeah!) reading at the SFPL and everybody kept quoting/alluding to Rimbaud and I felt dumb so today I bought a copy of A SEASON IN HELL for $5.50 and I was feeling alienated and sad even though everything in my life is awesome and I agreed with the 60-yr-old woman I walked by who asked her nine 60-yr-old companions if we were walking through the “cutest neighborhood IN THE WORLD???” We were. We are. And yet, one can still be unhappy here. As one can most certainly be unhappy in the perennially, perpetually “ill” NYC. Because, as Rimbaud says, Je me crois en enfer, donc j’y suis.

    Your blog is a haven for weary travelers. God blaze you!


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  3. saddleshoos

    NYC is a very unhappy place, but there is some solace in the fact that everyone there in some way or another unhappy with you.

    I walk around the sunny East Bay with all the sunny self-righteous Californians and feel even more unhappy.

    Maybe I just need to go see City Arts and Lectures at the Herbst more often. Also on the to do list: drop out of Mills a/k/a epicenter of sunny self-righteous peoples of the world.

    Ps: Questions to ponder: Why don’t I have a PhD? I was thinking about when I was 20 and my goal was to be an editor at the Nation…wha happen??? What is wrong with me?

    possible answers: I didn’t try hard enough in prep school, I prayed too much or too little, I don’t have big enough cajones, I didn’t take the right classes in college, I’m not a good politician, I’m too nice/too mean…

    …I think now would be a good time to transcribe list item number 6 from “Looking Your Best:”

    “Step 6: Drink plenty of water. As you’ve probably heard, water functions as a natural lubricant in the body, flushing toxins and fat cells from the digestive tract. Water is also a delicious replacement for higher-fat liquids, such as milk. Try pouring water on your cereal or in your coffee. If you’re a baby, try pouring water into your mother’s breasts.”

  4. KRB

    Buns—I am very tired but I need to make some sort of response. To start, new yorkers are not more unhappy than people in other places—we are just packed in closer together so you can see the misery in our eyes.

    Next, you don’t have a PhD because there have been other things in your life that have been/are more important. If you actually want one you will get one. You have the innate abilities required. Punto. With the whole Nation thing, I just want to say that you also really wanted to be a lawyer, an administrator at Gallatin, a food writer, cure cancer and several other things my brain is cracked to remember. It’s ok that you are not. Just because you don’t pursue every thought that enters into your head doesn’t mean you failed, it means you have a working brain.

    I’d like to end with a Public Service Announcement. People on bikes SUCK. Some (expletive) on a bike HIT Lucy today and Lucy was literally under the front wheel of her bike. I was crossing with the light and she was running it. Do you know what she had the nerve to say to me? “I thought the dog would move” What if that had been my baby?! I’d also like to mention this is not limited to NY people on bikes SUCK in LA too. I applaud self-powered movement and exercise etc. but it is not cool to disobey traffic laws. Evah.

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