September 24, 2012
urbanmetaphysics:

Upper West Side, Manhattan, c. 1962.

Edna smiled, but she had to wonder why the woman had two Yorkshire terriers. It seemed excessive, a lot to maneuver down the sidewalk. (And on top of that, a small child and a shopping cart?) She wasn’t wearing stockings. (A little sassy for a married lady, and wasn’t she chilly?) The child was darling though, with big brown eyes and a strong, high voice. Edna told him her dog’s name was Rusty, even though when she was at home, she always called him Avram.


Cross-posted at Rewriting New York.

urbanmetaphysics:

Upper West Side, Manhattan, c. 1962.

Edna smiled, but she had to wonder why the woman had two Yorkshire terriers. It seemed excessive, a lot to maneuver down the sidewalk. (And on top of that, a small child and a shopping cart?) She wasn’t wearing stockings. (A little sassy for a married lady, and wasn’t she chilly?) The child was darling though, with big brown eyes and a strong, high voice. Edna told him her dog’s name was Rusty, even though when she was at home, she always called him Avram.



Cross-posted at Rewriting New York.

(via urbanmetaphysics-deactivated201)

September 19, 2012
urbanmetaphysics:

Times Square, NYC, c. 1982.

The heart
When I was around 7 or 8 years old, it was au courant for the kids in my class to say they hated the city. I remember scribbling a line through the heart of an I ♥ NY button and telling people I couldn’t wait to move to “the country.” 
I didn’t actually hate NY, of course. But like anyone, I longed to experience something different, like a front yard. And I thought it might be nice to pack a suitcase and take a ship somewhere exotic, like on the Love Boat. 

urbanmetaphysics:

Times Square, NYC, c. 1982.

The heart

When I was around 7 or 8 years old, it was au courant for the kids in my class to say they hated the city. I remember scribbling a line through the heart of an I ♥ NY button and telling people I couldn’t wait to move to “the country.” 

I didn’t actually hate NY, of course. But like anyone, I longed to experience something different, like a front yard. And I thought it might be nice to pack a suitcase and take a ship somewhere exotic, like on the Love Boat. 

(via urbanmetaphysics-deactivated201)

September 18, 2012

Super Sad True Love Story is the most recent novel by Gary Shteyngart (Stuyvesant, ‘91), featuring a dystopian future New York completely dominated by consumerism. (Not just mostly dominated.)

Gary is possessed of a townie soul, I think. And I suspect he probably, at some point within the last 5-10 years, has grumbled about the proliferation of banks on Ave. A.

"Of course, the East Village then was a whole different thing. Tompkins Square Park was still Tompkins Square Park."


In this clip, Gary visits the old Stuyvesant building on E 15th St and talks about his formative years.

September 17, 2012
(Photo by molossoidea)

"Things close early in Boston. By 6pm the gift store in South Station was closed. So any hope of getting something there went bye bye. Now take the example of NYC. I get off the train at 2:10am at Penn Station and at least one of every shop and or eatery was open. You could even get ‘I love NYC’ hats and shirts 3 for $30. That’s how you make money folks.”

- “Epilogue to the Boston Trip,” Observerants: Observations and Rants of a Native New Yorker, August 9, 2012

(Photo by molossoidea)

"Things close early in Boston. By 6pm the gift store in South Station was closed. So any hope of getting something there went bye bye. Now take the example of NYC. I get off the train at 2:10am at Penn Station and at least one of every shop and or eatery was open. You could even get ‘I love NYC’ hats and shirts 3 for $30. That’s how you make money folks.”

- “Epilogue to the Boston Trip,” Observerants: Observations and Rants of a Native New Yorker, August 9, 2012

September 17, 2012
TOWNIE SPOTLIGHT: The Sucklord

The Sucklord, Native New Yorker

"The Sucklord is 42-year-old Morgan Phillips, a lifelong Star Wars fan and unrepentant toy geek who lived with his mother until he was 36. For most of his adulthood, lucrative employment evaded the native New Yorker: The insurance company where his mother worked wouldn’t hire him for the mail room; for three years after art school in Oregon, the P.S. 41 graduate set up mannequins at Canal Jeans and earned $7 an hour. None of this made his romantic life ideal."   - Camille Dodero, "The Suckadelic Era”, The Voice,  September 28, 2011

Downtown townies tend be the most severe cases because they stumble over a lot of commodified semihistorical quaintness just going to the deli to buy a can of Coke.

However, the TOTT can only imagine that it was The Sucklord’s (Humanities, ‘87) encounters with NYU students on Sixth Ave that provided the impetus for a pop art empire whose tagline is: “You’re an asshole for buying this.”

September 14, 2012

"He returned largely because apartment-hunting proved so traumatic. ‘It was nightmarish,’ said Mr. Geist*, who is the senior editor of Tehran Bureau, a news Web site. ‘Like so many people who grow up in Manhattan, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. But I was appalled at the idea of having a roommate who wasn’t a close friend, which is what I would have to have had to stay in the borough. It didn’t take long to convert me to the idea that moving back home was a splendid notion.’
Mr. Geist belongs to a small and exclusive club of New Yorkers, largely Manhattanites, who live literally on the footprint of their childhood. They sleep in their childhood bedrooms. They are greeted in the elevator by people who have known them since they were born. Family snapshots have a comforting familiarity. Some of these people have had the same telephone number and permanent address their entire lives. If they left town for college or a job, it wasn’t for long.”

- Constance Rosenblum, “The Toys Are Gone, but It’s Still Home,” The Times, October 21, 2011 
*Hunter ‘84

"He returned largely because apartment-hunting proved so traumatic. ‘It was nightmarish,’ said Mr. Geist*, who is the senior editor of Tehran Bureau, a news Web site. ‘Like so many people who grow up in Manhattan, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. But I was appalled at the idea of having a roommate who wasn’t a close friend, which is what I would have to have had to stay in the borough. It didn’t take long to convert me to the idea that moving back home was a splendid notion.’

Mr. Geist belongs to a small and exclusive club of New Yorkers, largely Manhattanites, who live literally on the footprint of their childhood. They sleep in their childhood bedrooms. They are greeted in the elevator by people who have known them since they were born. Family snapshots have a comforting familiarity. Some of these people have had the same telephone number and permanent address their entire lives. If they left town for college or a job, it wasn’t for long.”

- Constance Rosenblum, “The Toys Are Gone, but It’s Still Home,” The Times, October 21, 2011 

*Hunter ‘84

September 14, 2012

"Dunham spent a year at the New School, where, she explained to the New Yorker, ‘there were a lot of kids who were really excited to have just gotten to New York… . They wanted to go to clubs or go to Broadway.’
In Tiny Furniture, nobody goes to clubs or Broadway. Nobody even really goes outside.”

 - Elizabeth Gumport, ”Made in Manhattan,” n+1 , March 5, 2012

"Dunham spent a year at the New School, where, she explained to the New Yorker, ‘there were a lot of kids who were really excited to have just gotten to New York… . They wanted to go to clubs or go to Broadway.’

In Tiny Furniture, nobody goes to clubs or Broadway. Nobody even really goes outside.”

 - Elizabeth Gumport, ”Made in Manhattan,” n+1 , March 5, 2012

July 18, 2011

"They seemed like normal teen-agers, although they all had the faintly glamorous, knowing aura of city kids."

- Lizzie Widdicombe, ”Expert Witnesses," The New Yorker, January 10, 2011

"They seemed like normal teen-agers, although they all had the faintly glamorous, knowing aura of city kids."

Lizzie Widdicombe, Expert Witnesses,The New Yorker, January 10, 2011

June 10, 2011
The 10 Types of “New Yorker” NYT Commenters

Today TTOTT takes a look at a Times City Room post by Jennifer 8. Lee (Hunter ‘94), featuring EB White’s NY-famous passage about the different types of New Yorkers or, the “three New Yorks”.

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something ….Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.

Lee asks: ”Can anyone really claim to know New York, a city of eight million…? And just who is a New Yorker anyway?” 

This is perhaps an unanswerable question on its own, but we think we can approximate an answer through typifying the responses posted.

Read More

June 10, 2011
HISTORY: Citycentrism in 1907

"One of the most distinguishing traits of the New Yorker," Mr. Matthews continued, "is his independence of every one and everything outside of his city. He learns all he wants to know about the rest of the world. But he forms his opinions and goes about his business — well, almost as if the rest of the world did not matter. This is because he feels he is at headquarters, where the big things are done…"

Thus the November 17, 1907 edition of The Times ponders the singular condition of the native. 

The investigative piece, titled, “Question: What Constitutes a New Yorker?”, shows contemporary townie researchers that not very much has changed. Even 100 years ago, the native believed in the irrelevance of Middle America and the world beyond.

And the native sensed he was outnumbered.

Read More