After New York, every other American city is just an empty shell

I’m going to do something karmically dangerous here.  This will surely ruin the rest of my day, get me stuck on the BART, make me step in dog crap, who knows what, but I just can’t hold back any longer.

Every time I walk around in San Francisco — mind you, I’m usually either in the pretty blank area south of Market or with visiting family near the Fisherman’s Wharf/Embarcadero tourist trap zone — I miss New York.

Yes, my seven years living in Manhattan appear to have ruined me for other American cities.  I like Paris, and Rome is amazing, but San Francisco? Los Angeles? Denver? Boston? Not so much.

Okay, I’ll give Boston some credit for having some history and character and making me feel like I was on the East Coast, and I still love Albuquerque, but at that point, we’re talking about a smaller city with a lot of intangibles going for it. (Read as: green chile.)

I’ll leave it at that, before I end up driving the wrong way down a one-way street nose to nose with a trolley car, or one of those weird buses they have here, but seriously, I’m representing for NYC.

212.  The F-Train.  Nights at the bars on 5th St.  Days hanging out in Tompkins Square Park, free jazz all summer in places like Central Park and Columbia University.  All-day free Miles Davis tribute concerts.  Car services.  Friends in Greenpoint and Williamsburg and the L-Train and cheering for my train line at Yankee Stadium in between innings.

Sixteen daily newspapers, each with a different market segment to serve, plus the Sunday-paper sized Village Voice every week, for free.  Back in the pre-Craig days, people lined up at the Astor Place newsstand to pay their dollar for the Voice and its apartment listings.  Yeah, I’m nostalgiac for the 1990s, which makes me feel young, and that’s a good thing.

All-night delis with random gourmet vegan items, so when I stumbled out of a cab coming home from work, dirty and carrying all my tools at 3:45 a.m., I could get a pair of bagels with unturkey salad and a cold Brooklyn IPA.  Kate’s Joint.  VP2.

Damn, all right, that’s enough.  If I start thinking about the food, this is going to go downhill fast.

I’m just sayin’, New York is the greatest.  I miss you all.

6 thoughts on “After New York, every other American city is just an empty shell

  1. That is correct, sir.

    Does playing my old Sea and Cake records over and over again count?

    And more importantly, how much do I have to spend to hear some decent live jazz on a Saturday night?

  2. Amen, New York deserves its reputation as an amazing city. I’m pretty partial to Boston as well (being a native and all) but you can only get that special frenetic energy in New York. So much to see there, so much to experience. Not a bad place for a journo.

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