Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And, I'm back

Ok, we'll see if I can keep up with this, or if I'll let it slide again. It's not like anything important hinges on my ability to type here, but I do kind of miss it. I got back this weekend from a week in NYC, where I was a staff advisor on an Alternative Break trip with 13 undergrads. Despite being very wary of spending an entire week in the company of thirteen 19-20 year olds, the week ended up being really fun, because I was able to regress and have some fun. I love my program and many of the people in it, but sometimes it and they are just so damn boring. I'm really sick of having discussions with people about intense issues when I'm out at a bar having a drink, so it was fun just to goof around for a week.

As for New York, I went there expecting to love it, and to my amazement I kind of hated it. For starters, the city and all its inhabitants need to chill the fuck out. Everyone I met was so tightly wound that it couldn't possibly healthy to lives one's life like that. I'm sure there are plenty of relaxed people in the city, but they certainly didn't ride the subway or walk around on city streets because all of those people were grumpy little curmudgeons. I think more than anything else, everyone and everything was just putting in too much effort. Too much effort to be cool, to be fashionable, to be making it, whatever. I know, judgemental of me to make those observations after only a week as a tourist, but that feeling was pervasive, and a huge turnoff for me. Highly superficial might be a good/better way to describe my impression of New York. I also hated the tourists. I couldn't imagine living in a city where you can't visit any of your city's attractions because they're swarmed by tourists virtually every day of the year. DC has that problem, but mostly in the summer, so if I want to go to the park, or a museum any other month, I can just stroll in. Going to MOMA on Friday, the line was three city blocks long, and at the end of the line was the most ridiculous and exasperating museum experience of my life. Great art, sucky atmosphere. That sums up my initial impression of NYC pretty well actually: great city, but sucky atmosphere.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Your post made me laugh, Owen. We spent a couple of weeks in NY staying with a friend and our observations almost exactly match your impressions! Does everyone still where black from head to toe? Way too much time spent on trying to be cool! Glad to have you writing again!