A passerby asked a young girl, “What are all of you girls waiting in the cold for?” The girl nonchalantly replied, “The Jonas Brothers. Duh.”
On Saturday, fans in middle school, high school and college alike waited, shrieking, in a cluster on the sidewalk near the Apple store at Fifth Avenue and 59th street. Unamused male faces—fathers, boyfriends and younger brothers who were dragged into the cold—dotted the crowd. Fifteen-year old Danielle Barone from Long Island waited outside in 40-degree weather for four hours before the Jonas Brothers made an appearance.
“An email was sent out for their fan club and through their MySpace,” she explained, “for all the fans in the New York City area to come down to 59th street and cheer them on.” The brothers were doing an interview on the CBS Early Show to promote their 3-D concert movie, due out next week, and a few fans would be hand-picked to ask questions. My 13-year-old sister wasn’t one of the lucky ones selected, but she had her question ready. “I probably would’ve asked Nick if he’s really dating Selena Gomez. I’m curious.” The girls around nodded, hopeful that they might one day be the girl linked to the youngest brother.
The New York Times is running a series of New York photos by James Hill, a photographer who lives in Russia and took a two-week visit to New York City. The black-and-white photography is arresting, like this photo of a woman balancing three coffee cups while walking past a men's clothing store.
But I especially love what he writes about New York.
The curmudgeonly blog, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, says the recession is actually renewing New York — purging it of the selfish Young Urban Narcissists that have settled there and reminding us that New York has always been about more than making big money:
Many of us are feeling optimistic about this city for the first time in a decade. New York's identity has always been about much more than just real estate and money. The path of the New Yorker "has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things."
That quote is from President Obama's inaugural address. In his rousing speech, there is great hope that the narcissistic, sociopathic tenor of our entire country, the dark cloud we've been living under for the past 8 years, is poised to change. And so it is changing in New York, too, where the "risk-takers, doers, and makers of things" have too long been stifled and squeezed out by a swaggering crowd of safety-seeking do-nothings.
Like Bush on his way out of office last week with his posture deflated, their swagger has diminished already. And our city will be far better for it. We don't need to tumble into violence and degradation. We can be safe, we can prosper, we can enjoy beautiful things–without living in a sociopathic New York.
This is eloquent. Recession as redemption and renewal? I can see it.
The beginning of December marked the quiet launch of another addition to the New York Times underground network of blogs. This one is called "Proof: Alcohol and American Life." Interesting right? So great New York drinking spots, recipes, and the occasional meditation on alcohol and society?
Negative. Out of the four posts that have gone up this month, three include dark personal narratives about, as one poster puts it, "the savage, destructive power of alcoholism." Sure, it's in the middle of a pretty interesting analysis of how drunkenness went out of fashion in New York, but really? The entire contents of "Proof" so far something like an Alcoholics Anonymous pity party:
Patrol’s offices were stolen last week, but it didn’t happen like you might think. There were no CSIs running around taking pictures and fingerprinting. No Law and Order moments with dramatic music or sudden realizations. In fact, most of us didn’t even know. Which is sad, considering we were indirectly a part of the largest heist in history. That’s because last week, as most of us typed furiously, the Empire State Building was stolen.
In a comical, yet scary move last Tuesday, the New York Daily News filed false papers and temporarily took ownership of the $2 billion landmark. “The massive ripoff illustrates a gaping loophole in the city's system for recording deeds, mortgages and other transactions,” the paper said. That might be an understatement. The loophole is that, “The system – run by the office of the city register – doesn't require clerks to verify the information.”
- No public Twitter messages.
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