Friday, November 30, 2007

If New York were a guy I'd totally fuck him

New York Magazine is doing that annual thing where they come up with reasons why they love New York. So I thought I'd publish a letter I wrote to this grand old city back in the lowly days of Freshman year. Notice the lack of capitalization and the inherent pretension involved. Things in parentheses are interjections by yours truly ex post facto.

dear new york,

i'm writing you this letter because i need to say some things that the engine rumblings and screams and loud music sometimes cover up. i'm confused about how i feel about you. i don't want to break up, because you're the only thing i've ever truly loved, but i think i might need a break. there are so many things i love and hate about you simultaneously; i love the rumbling of the subway underneath my science classroom on west 4th street, but i hate how it makes it impossible to hear the professor. (back when i went to class...) i love the diversity in the city, but i hate how that makes it almost impossible to spark any kind of human connection. (i'm so tired of hipsters) i love the grid system, but i hate being confined to always turning in right angles. (oh, the awfulness of this day-to-day life!) i love the subway system, but i hate the way it smells. i love my fake ID, but i hate that all the clubs scan now. (this "fake id" i speak of is probably the shittiest piece of plastic ever made, procured in queens and with a signature that's typed in luncinda handwriting) in short, i am feeling very confused. i need some fresh air. i need to see the stars. (wouldn't jack kerouac and i get along swimmingly?) i need to leave all of these people and this craziness behind so that i can remember what it's like to be me.

i hate so many things about you, new york. dhani got her purse stolen in a pizza shop on your lower east side. (she was drunk) i can't walk through the park without being harassed 8 times by drug dealers. (gee golly do i hate drugs!) i really can't afford to keep buying new outfits for clubs with photobloggers. (i don't even need to touch this one) i can't even afford a haircut. it smells like shit over by the hudson, you know.

but these are also things that attracted me to you in the first place. i love the heterogeneous mixing of everyone, the different smells and the crazy things i hear walking to class. i love that there is always something going on. but i think what i love most of all is the IDEA of you, new york. i'm not in love with you as a place -- it is cold, here, and frankly, kind of depressing. but i'm in love with the romanticized notion of you. i love going to bars in the west village, simply because i can say, with an heir of practiced pretension, "i'm going to a bar in the west village!" (admittedly, i still love this) i'm in love with shopping in soho and going out on the lower east side and museum hopping on the upper west side. i can't resist BEING HERE. it is a magnetic field that simultaneously attracts and repulses me, depending on which side of my heart i flash before the magnet. (i also like walking in the rain because no one can tell that i'm crying) i am controlled entirely by this city. and so, have i lost myself in search of you, new york? in search of the real you -- the actual coordinates, the dirty streets, the homeless people curled in freezing, piss stained corners, the loose dogs humping each other in the WSP dog run, the eyebrows of the man who sells me my coffee every morning? or maybe, closer to the truth, is the idea that i was lost before i even moved to this bustling metropolis. and the idea of excavating who i am beneath the sidewalks of the historically fantasized new york city may just be disgustingly laughable. (yes) i'm not sure what has to change in order to figure all of this out. but just know, new york; you were my first love.

love, jessica

So what have we learned from all of this? I am emo.



Jess and Josh said...

well-written piece, but then you had to include that picture of you crying, and now that's all i'll remember from this post.

Jess and Josh said...


Mazi said...

the honest parenthetical reflections on last year's idealized letter are kind of depressing frankly

wgo said...

Dont cry! :)