jueves, noviembre 10, 2005

The State of the City

The NYC mayoral election is over and done with. Given my previous advocacy of and encouragements to vote, you lot may find it surprising that I sat this one out. The preliminary polls showed that Ferrer was way too behind Bloomberg to win anyway, and there was no chance of some hidden faction coming out and voting to tip the scales (not in Queens anyway, quite possibly the most apathetic boro of the 5), so I didn't bother, and I don't regret this. Plus, I didn't want to be one of the people held responsible for letting Bloomberg back into City Hall. Best to leave the blame to the dollar chasers. However, to the credit of the rich, WASPy liberals of NYC, they went Ferrer, probably in retaliation for Bloomie bending over and taking it from the Republicans and letting a city openly hostile to Republicans host the RNC, for the love of Pete. Of course, Bloomie went on to deny New Yorkers their consitutional right to assemble peacefully in protest of this traumatic experience on their most beloved turf, Central Park. Hmmm, denying people constitutional rights....sound familiar? By the by, did anyone see Ferrer's campaign ad depicting Bloomie and Bush canoodling atop a horse, Georgy in his cowboy costume and Bloomie toting a wad of cash? A last ditch effort, but funny as hell.

According to someone on the DailyKos website, Ferrer went on the air and said something like "Manhattan is better than it was four years ago. What about the other Boros?" The KOSguy said that given that Washington Heights/Inwood and the Harlems were in Manhattan, this was a stupid question. I do not agree at all. Washington Heights/Inwood, my ex-hood (thank God) and the Harlems are undergoing gentrification the likes of which are not often seen. The rate of fancy, completely unaffordable restaurants sprouting up on Broadway between the GW Bridge and 181st Street, of all strips, is blinding, and of course in another 5-10, the barrio will be unrecognizable. The people there now will have been pushed out, which is of course tragic, but I'm not so sad for those people. Do you remember how I said some New Yorkers aren't worth my pinky? These are them. Let them go fuck up another neighborhood, I say. But I digress. Yeah, what ABOUT the other boros? Sorry to say, but we in Queens got bobkes for the past four years. I used to love Queens and looked forward to going back. Now that I am there, I have been pretty disappointed with its comparatively sorry state, save for the Thai restaurants in Woodside and Jackson Heights. Shouts to Queens' most ethnic of populations! Of course it could also be that when I first lived in Queens, it looked so good to me because I was still an idealist, fresh from Sarah Lawrence College with quite a rosy outlook. Now I'm just a jaded New Yorker nursing ever more fragile nerves and a shrinking supply of patience.

Brooklyn is doing quite well by comparison, in the sense that everyday it looks and is considered more like Manhattan. It is somewhere people go for culture, good food and shopping and homes in which to raise a family. Queens has the Sunnyside rail yards. It used to be that if you said you lived in Queens or Brooklyn, people looked at you funny, with a little pity. Now that just happens if you admit you live in Queens. But actually, let me be careful in asking that the mayor turn his beady eyes over to Queens. After all, I would like to be able to afford my apartment for the next couple of years and maybe the occasional scraps from the horrible supermarkets we have to contend with (while Brooklyn gets Farmer's Markets).

On another note which is only somewhat related, it has occurred to me that, until I save up more money, I'm really stuck here. If I have no money for the interstate move, for my new apartment (no, I am not living with daddy. Sorry, pop) and to haul the cats down there, I can't make any move. I don't earn enough money to really save anything. But more than that, my lifestyle is just not conducive to saving money, not that I'm proud of that. I spend money "like a house afire," as daddy says. I am probably the only person in the under$50K bracket that has set foot in Kittichai, an ultra-chic and ultra-expensive Thai fusion joint in SoHo, or who is a member of Equinox, a $130 a month gym. And if I am not home, you can probably find me at Bloomingdales or on the Lower East Side with Jessica trolling the boutiques. Oh well, at least all that is tempered by my penchant for White Castle and cheap ethnic food (Jefe, I miss you!!). At work, the powers that be are rumoured to be dangling money in our faces again. Well, they best dangle quickly then give it up. If I can manage to get more money out of these misers, I'm free to move about as I please. We'll see.

Bloomie notwithstanding, I still have confidence. This city will regenerate and reinvent somehow, and I expect that the essence of the City, which I can't quite articulate right now, will always exist in its original form somewhere, in some corner or alley. Conversely, there will always be something to piss me off and that reeks of times ahead: the Times online made it so now I have to pay $10 a month just so I can read my favorite columnists, Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman. As my old friend Tamara used to say, after a loud gasp: "Fuckers!"

2 comentarios:

Quintus dijo...

yeah, with dolor y sentimiento I'm gonna have to pay $10 to continue reading those two...

Anónimo dijo...

I'm sure there are nice parts of Queens - you just have to go out and look for them. And lots of respectable people live in Queens - it's close to the city and not totally unaffordable yet.