Friday, October 11, 2002

It is cold and miserably raining today, and still there is a line in front of the little sushi place on Thompson. What does that say about New Yorkers? That cold, slimy fish is just the thing on a bleary wet day? That our palates are so accustomed to exotic stimuli we simply can’t bear to have a burger? That we’re willing to brave any number of discomforts for (presumably) good, cheap sushi?

I don’t know, but it appears to say something.

I scuttled up the block for a box of tissues and squelched back to the office in wet boots. A cheese sandwich will do very well for today, thank you. Incidentally, my office-mates were all having soup when I got back.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Well, I was warned about this. Before I moved to New York, a friend who’d lived here for ten years said to me, "You’ll love it and you'll hate it. Everybody does." Or words to that effect.

When the balance shifted and I found that I really hated it more often than I really loved it, I started thinking about Getting Out. But there are degrees of Out, and I’m not fully escaped yet. In fact, I still spend the bulk of my waking hours here. So I guess it’s still subject to the love it-hate it equation.

This is one of those Can’t Stand To Be Here Days. The city looks to me just as it did when I visited as a child and thought it the most disgusting, dirty, smelly, frightening place I’d ever been. Rats the size of shoeboxes, cockroaches almost as large, and everywhere the reek of piss.

That was my impression then and it’s my feeling today. Though to be fair, it was two small half-decayed mouse corpses I saw, and a lot of urine, both human and animal. But ugh! What a dumb idea, cramming so many people onto one tiny island and calling it civilization.

What that overload of proximity does is wipe out any traces of civilization, as evidenced by the rudeness of gypsy cab drivers nearly running me over and then cussing at ME for crossing WITH the walk-sign.

I do not like it, Sam I Am. I would prefer a greener land.