We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Annie Hall was on the other night. As a young teen, and to some degree even today, I remain a devoted Woody Allen fan. His personal issues, which are many, aside, he made some great films. I had forgotten this exchange, as the Alvy seeks to convince Annie to return to New York from Los Angeles:
Alvy: So what - you-you're not gonna come back to New York?
Annie: What's so great about New York? I mean, it's a dying city. You read Death in Venice.
Alvy: Hey, you didn't read Death in Venice till I bought it for ya.
Annie: That's right, that's right. You only gave me books with the word 'death' in the titles.
Alvy: That's right, 'cause it's an important issue.
Annie: Alvy, you're incapable of enjoying life, you know that? I mean you're like New York City. You're just this person. You're like this island unto yourself.
Alvy: I can't enjoy anything unless everybody is. If one guy is starving someplace, that puts a crimp in my evening.
Maybe it was dying in 1977, and certainly the new mayor is not making it a better place today, but New York is a remarkable town that can never be counted out.
Today it is not a dying city, and I doubt it truly was dying in 1977. It was just very sick from the overwhelmingly Progressive politics which had undermined its ability to remake itself.
Since then, it has recovered, and in many ways gotten much better. My first visit to New York City was in 1976 to see Beatlemania. I was overwhelmed by how ugly, crowded, and nasty the city was. At the same time, it was a lively and bustling place, and it fascinated me.
I moved here in 1985, lived in the outer boroughs for 7 years, and have worked here for the last 30 years. I've seen it have more ups than downs.
I don't love New York City the way born and raised people do. It's not the center of my universe and never has been. Yet it is a place that continues to impress me and no matter where I live I'd like to know I can always come back here just to experience it. Even if it changes.
One friend of mine, born and raised here and now living in Albany, complained that New York was 'ruined' by business. As an example, he complained how the Irish no longer control portions of Queens, that now the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans do. I asked him if those were the same sections once controlled by the Germans, or the Italians prior to the Irish? Or the Dutch prior to the English?
I pointed out that New York is constantly moving. Unlike Alvy's relationship with Annie, New York is a shark, not a dead shark.
re Some cities, unfortunately, have not fared so well as New York.
I perused the list. It didn't have to turn out that way, but the EPA, Union Labor and anti-business politicians were just too much to overcome. In Buffalo's case, the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway was a crippling blow as well.
"complained that New York was 'ruined' by business."
Now that's funny given that cities, and towns, only exist to facilitate business.
At first they were market places for rural production, as well as shipping points. Then as production became urban enabled, they became place production, market and shipment. But now, physical production, such as we still have, is not economic in the urban core. As the connected generation age, even the industry socialization will migrate out of cities. They will retain the dense sex partner market.
Cities, even NYC, will continue out of habit, and welfare, more than necessity.
NYC still exists, but it is a different NYC. A jillion people centered around a great natural harbor. That spot on earth will always be active and dynamic. Creative destruction implies that the comfortable past does indeed die.
As Sudhir Venkatesh described, to make it there, you have to float: Floating City
Alvy as Obama: he finds a sweet girl who likes him and fundamentally transforms her into his neurotic self... at which point they cannot live with one another. The fate of post-Obama America: Mary from Manhattan, pithy yet degenerate.