If you spent any time in New York City in the 80s or 90s, visit this New York Times slideshow and be transported.
As a suburban teenager, I found New York - Manhattan - irresistibly attractive and $10 was enough for a frugal undertaking. I remember the smell, like wet concrete and tar and and cigarettes and sun and garbage. I remember the feeling that all of life and death and unimaginable things vile and transcendent were stacked up in the honeycombs of apartment buildings that rose up and away, and the odd signs of domestic life in the urbanness of it all - a curtain flicking out against a dirty brick wall, the back of a picture frame on a windowsill. There was a cellar with smoke and poetry and I wanted to be more interested but the idea of it was better than it was so I leaned my head on my knees and fell asleep. Later outside on safari in the bright city darkness, soft voices echoed from broken windows in dark buildings and a rolled carpet under a broken streetlight could actually have a body inside. I was mugged in Thompkins Square and only twigged after the fact that most of the lights had been knocked out to that purpose. I kissed my first boyfriend for hours against the iron railings outside the 9th St PATH station. So much was new.
Hear me on Hobby Horse!
8 months ago