Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Come with me if you want to live

See you at Coney tonight.

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10 Years

Ten years ago last month I moved to New York.

In August 2001 I moved to the city to start grad school at NYU. I was here about two weeks when I knew I was never planning on leaving. Needless to say, it was interesting timing; about three weeks after I got here the city I moved to changed in an irrevocable way. But 9/11 and my experience with being new to the city just made me love it and its people more, and solidified how I felt about being a part of this place.

But, I'm not writing this as a reflection on that specific event-it's impossible for it not to be front and center in my thoughts when I think of how I got here, but what I've been reflecting on a lot is the ten years that have come after that.

I will state, absolutely, that my first 10 years in New York have included most of the best times in my life, and, I think, all of the worst. I would be a different person if I wasn't here. I suppose, who is ever the same person at 27 and 37? But I know one thing: I'm a New Yorker. This is where I belong.

And the city has changed as much as I have in the last ten years. New York has a sense of permanence, but it's only a sense--the only true constant here is change, whether we like it or not. So...what has changed in New York in the ten years I've lived here? When I moved to the city you could still use a token to get on the subway, where the M line was Brown and if you were lucky, you might ride one of the last of the Redbird trains. CBGB's still existed, along with too many other long-standing New York nightlife institutions; just until the last couple of weeks you could still get a beer at the Mars Bar. There definitely wasn't a Chipotle and a Supercuts on St. Mark's Place. Frankly, mostly irreplaceable stuff has disappeared and everything has gotten more expensive...it's not all bad though: when I moved here the Highline was a derelict structure still threatened with demolition. I was reminded that 311 was founded too, just about the best thing Bloomberg has come up with. Speaking of being reminded, I enlisted a certain native that I've been spending lots of time with lately (ahem) to help me think about it. Her perspective was great and totally different, and in fact I think she just started to get pissed off after a while: "we used to have subway clerks...we could find good pizza...we could still smoke in bars...we had term limits." And my favorite: "bed bugs were other countries' problem."

So...here I am. I've developed a new statement of purpose lately, that fits into my life and who I am now, and it fits here too.

I'm not going anywhere.

Ok, thanks everybody. I promise to start posting funny Youtube videos and shit again.

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