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Archive for March 4th, 2005

On Leaving New York II

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When I was in high school, we would read the Village Voice
classified ads and talk a lot of crap about how we were going to forget college
(never an option, really) and get one of the $700 a month places in the West
Village and write poetry or whatever.

 

By the time I got back in the area, after college, there
weren’t any $700 a month places left. Not by a long shot. The Giuliani era had
begun… The streets were suddenly clean and safe… The City had changed.

 

My wife and I lived at first outside of the City, in a
distant suburb, because that’s where I was going to grad school. We’d go in to
look at the museums, hang around a little bit. And then we started to have
friends that lived there… A fellow grad student’s dead grandmother was a famous
artist in her time and had a retrospective at the Whitney, whose opening we
were invited to, whose after-party we attended. A brighter life than we’d ever
imagined – we were jealous, determined. We’d head in and have dinner and drinks
but had to make the last train home. Everything was so tempting. And so we
moved to Brooklyn… A tiny little apartment not far from
the Brooklyn Heights promenade, where, just as I had in my youth, we’d stare at the City from afar,
but also from the City itself…

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Written by adswithoutproducts

March 4, 2005 at 2:30 am

Posted in Personal

On Leaving New York I

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I grew up in New Jersey. New York City is harder to get to than you might think from Jersey, especially when you’re a teenager. Chicago’s got no rivers to cross, and Boston’s rather quaint. In Los Angeles, there’s no there there, so I imagine that the deal’s rather different…

You can’t – or at least don’t – drive into the City. Parking is outrageous, and anyway, you’re intimidated by the traffic patterns, the difficulties of navigation when you’re used to a relatively sleeply small town and the interstates that run to other sleepy, small towns.

You can always take the train, and we did sometimes. It seems crazy to me now, but we used to cut school, calling in sick, and take the train to Hoboken (didn’t go all the way to Penn Station back in the day), and then take the PATH train to 9th street in the village. Still brings back memories when I pass the entrance of the 9th street station, and the deli across the street where we used to buy our beer, which we’d drink out of brown paper bags in Washington Square Park (these were the days B.G. – Before Giuliani – when you could do such things…)

We’d hang around the Village for awhile and then head up to Central Park, in particular Strawberry Fields, just across the street from the Dakota where (our hero) Lennon was shot and killed. (The other day I found myself waiting for the light to change at the corner of 72nd and CPW standing right next to Yoko and Sean…) When we got there we’d smoke cigarettes or pot if we had any, or drink what was left of our stash from the deli downtown.

Sometimes we’d go to the Met, but I don’t really remember that all that well…

But most of the time we stayed in Jersey. Even so, almost every weekend we’d head out to the overlook in South Mountain reservation in West Orange, where you can see the city in the distance. Sometimes we brought girls with us, sometimes we drank, but we always talked a lot of shit about how soon we were going to live there, in the City, and how we’d never leave once we got there…

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 4, 2005 at 2:07 am

Posted in Personal