Monday, August 31, 2009

Is New York Special?

I've pretty much run out of time in New York. I doubt that anything particularly life-changing is going to happen in the remaining 36 hours, so it's reasonable to think about what's gone on in a retrospective way now. Kind of like when artists that used to be exciting go soft and other artists give them an award to keep them company in the nursing home. I've thought of a few main things that have made an impression on me. I want to figure out if they're unique to here, or if it'd be possible to reproduce them in a place that's easier to live in (apparently, it's a nightmare to get a permanent visa for the US).

A Bazillion People Who Are Just Like Me
From day one, when I struggled in the door of Loftstel with my suitcases to see a DJ in the corner playing La Roux, I was confident and hopeful that I'd be spending my summer with people I like, am like, and want to be like. It turns out that the DJ person was Sarah, who's been helping me to skip the queue into cool places quite often over the last three months.

I've sat up until the Foolishly Late a.m. talking about proper deep who-I-am and what's-it's-all-about stuff. This has made an impression on me, and I think I know myself better because of this. Knowing about yourself is important. Just being you doesn't guarantee that you know you. It's useful to know about yourself so you can decide what to do with yourself and your life.

Walking down the street in Williamsburg, I've thought "Jaysus, 70% of the people here are dressing how I do, and maybe half of them are doing a better job of it than me". I like this. You can tell a lot about a person by what they wear. I guess this means I'd get on well with a  good number of them. I know it freaked me out a few weeks ago when I saw someone dressed the same as me on the subway, but that was just crazy. It was like we were twins going to one of those twin conventions.

So, can this be replicated in other places? Yes. You don't need a bazillion cool people; a few is fine. 

Freedom to Do What You Want With Your Life
I've met people who've succeeded in reinventing themselves since they came to New York. Especially Irish people: one guy used to have a pretty mediocre time in Ireland; he didn't like his work and just got high twice a weekend with sketchy people. Now, he's his own boss as a tour guide, does entertaining tours, makes good money and is proud of what he does. Could he have done that in Ireland? No. Sometimes people need to be uprooted and completely detached from what's holding them back to flourish. The US is an ideal environment to do this, because it's better at judging people for what they do instead of who they are or what their background is. However, this doesn't apply to me because I have a pretty good life in Ireland and don't think I need reinventing, thank you very much.

It's Hot
It's been around 25c all summer. This is good. It's been 16c in Ireland. This is bad. 

It's Sort of the Centre of the Universe
New York is the pointed edge of the the human culture. The newest and coolest of everything is here. This is great if you care about knowing the very freshest and edgiest example of whatever you're into - be it music, dance, theatre, fashion or knitting. For me, it doesn't matter that much. Dubstep from five years ago that everyone that's into dubstep already knows is good enough - I amn't going to get more satisfaction out of something more obscure than that. We have dubstep in Dublin too. I'm not talking particularly about dubstep here; I'm just using it as an example of something vaguely trendy that I happen to like.

In conclusion (to this post, and this blog, probably), New York is brilliant. However, the stuff that makes it brilliant is either available in any decent-sized urban centre or doesn't matter to me. So I guess I'll come home, then. 

No comments:

Post a Comment