New York, Old York

Anyone who’s spent a fair amount of time in the world’s hostel dormitories will have met the culprit. He sits there on the bottom bunk, emaciated tanned limbs protruding from a Bintang vest and a pair of baggy pyjama trousers printed with a flailing dragon, and then he starts to witter.

Go to Chinatown, alone, preferably in the late afternoon. Walk around. Go into one of the shops that sells mysterious (to me) herbs and dried things. Buy some condiments or beef jerky or sweet buns for, what, $2. Listen to the grandmas hollering at their children and grandchildren, and the vegetable sellers.

Those events that are always at, like, 11pm on a Wednesday, in the east 30s or something? Go to one. Just go. Go alone if nobody else wants to go. Maybe it will suck, maybe everyone you meet will be obnoxious, but the point is that it is happening, someone is trying something, and even though we all know New York is a terrible place for creative types, it is also a wonderful place for creative types, because sometimes people show up at 11pm on a DeathtoStock_NYC2Wednesday to watch grown adults roll around on a floor in the east 30s.

Walk around. Go into one of the shops that sells mysterious (to me) herbs and dried things. Buy some condiments or beef jerky or sweet buns for, what, $2. He sits there on the bottom bunk, emaciated tanned limbs protruding from a Bintang vest and a pair of baggy pyjama trousers printed with a flailing dragon, and then he starts to witter. Try to remember a place that used to make you feel like you loved New York. If it’s still there, go there. If it’s been turned into a condo or an artisanal mustard store or whatever, try to identify what it was about that place that made you love New York.

He sits there on the bottom bunk, emaciated tanned limbs protruding from a Bintang vest and a pair of baggy pyjama trousers printed with a flailing dragon, and then he starts to witter.

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Thank you Manhattan for your lessons!

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