"New York City/Home, Sweet Home":
December 13, 2001 9:47 AM   Subscribe

"New York City/Home, Sweet Home": The New York Observer brings out a terrific, jam-packed issue. (Articles by Tom Wolfe, Janet Malcolm, Cynthia Ozick, Bruce McCall, Clay Felker, Stephen Jay Gould and many others. Christy Turlington and Michael Bloomberg even!)
posted by MiguelCardoso (12 comments total)
It's not by a New Yorker (far from it!), but this opinion piece on the glory of NYC, from the NYTimes this week, was also very good.... [login: metafi/metafi]
posted by mattpfeff at 10:27 AM on December 13, 2001

New York is everything glorious that these people say it is. It's also a big, fat target. We need take New York and its its insanely concentrated economic, governmental and cultural resources, and butter it across the great plains, North Dakota, the south and Pennsylvania. Our nation's vast spaces are a natural defense as valuable as Britain's being surrounded by seas once was. New York was wonderful. But it's over. In the whoosh of those falling buildings, you also might have heard a deep, rumbling whisper:
"Get ou-t--t-...!"
posted by Faze at 11:46 AM on December 13, 2001

Miguel, My favorite article about New York in the time after September 11, is Lost and Found, from Colson Whitehead. (NYTimes)
posted by bragadocchio at 12:13 PM on December 13, 2001

brag, thanks for that link. Great writing. Reminds me of "my" New York, which I look forward to visiting soon.
posted by msacheson at 1:07 PM on December 13, 2001

Jesus, Faze, you're a good one. What the fuck are you getting at? Who wants to move to North Dakota? Hell, we New Yorkers don't even want to go to New Jersey. This town works because of density, cohesion, collusion, collision. Spread it across the plains and you kill it. And I don't want Red Lobster as my only choice for a high-end restaurant, thanks.

New York is still wonderful, you New Yorker-baiting troll, and I'm committed until they come get me: they will have to bomb me personally and FedEx boxes of anthrax to my work and home before I'm really pissed. They can level this town: we'll still be here like fire ants marching out of a burning stump. I'll just get a place and change my phone number, and then we'll all go out for drinks and I'll let my Jamaican friends in Bed-Stuy know there are a couple of people who need taking care of.

And any of you pansies can leave any time you want: we don't want you. If you leave now, you were never really committed. It's all just excuses. You were bound to depart. Your pathetic cracker-jack fantasies came up short, so your departure was inevitable. So sayonara, adios and arrivederci, chump. Good riddance. Means more for me.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:42 PM on December 13, 2001 [1 favorite]

CNN had some footage of NYers getting off the ferry, I think, but in any case finishing part of their commute to work, on Sept. 13 or so, and this one guy, just after walking past the camera, turns back and yells, "We're still the greatest city in the world!"

I think that's all you really need to know.
posted by mattpfeff at 1:54 PM on December 13, 2001

Faze, no offense, but you don't get it. Cities are essential to human progress and imagination. Cities have always been targets. Cities will always be targets. Part of living in a city like New York is not living in fear. If you choose to live in fear, you live somewhere else.

For all our technology, most business still revolves on handshakes and gut feelings. New York's "insanely concentrated economic, governmental and cultural resources" would not exist if they were spread out "across the great plains."

Some people undoubtedly left, but not that many (in the meantime, it's a great time to buy real estate). Things are still as crowded as they've always been. For most New Yorkers, there is no where else to go. This is an invigorating place to live and there is no shortage of dreamers to fill the streets.

Outside Stuyvesant High School, a few blocks from the World Trade Center, there is a paraphrased quote from the last page of The Great Gatsby carved into the sidewalk, something about New York City and "standing face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to mankind's capacity for wonder."

I'm not going anywhere. Neither is New York City.
posted by joemaller at 2:39 PM on December 13, 2001

Marc...I haven't been to my New York in quite a while, but I'm looking forward to going back, and I'm planning on bringing friends. I want to visit ground zero, and I want to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I want to show some folks where Max's Kansas City used to be, and still is, in my New York.
posted by bragadocchio at 3:47 PM on December 13, 2001

September 10th, through the eyes of fifty people...many of these are fascinating. The ones I faound particularly enthralling were from Al Leiter, Martin Scorsese, Moukhtar Kocache, and Maira Kalman, who spent the day drawing pickles, and shoes and birds, and walking the dog.
posted by bragadocchio at 6:27 PM on December 13, 2001

*buys Mo Nickels a drink*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:16 PM on December 13, 2001

Look, here's what I'm saying: I don't not like New York. I adore the place. I lived in Manhattan for 20 years. But if you recall, the WTC (where I used often to do business) was bombed in 1993. Thirteen people were killed. In a happier universe, that would have been a wakeup call. Banks, government offices and businesses should have recognized that 1.) The place loomed ridiculously large on terrorist radar, and, 2.) it was terribly vulnerable. At that point, everybody should have abandoned the place, let the buildings' owners go bankrupt, and let the chips fall where they may. Some 3,000 people might still be alive today.
That first WTC attack bears the same relationship to the 9-11 attack, as the 9-11 attack bears to the next attack on New York. The next attack is likely to be exponentially larger.
It's not an issue of macho, or being a pussy. The WTC was full of macho guys who had real New York City attitude. It didn't save anybody. Or it didn't save anywhere near as many people as might have been saved if the WTC had been abandoned, or significantly depopulated after the first attack. This isn't an "I Love New York" issue. It's matter of common sense and national defense.
posted by Faze at 7:19 AM on December 14, 2001

Banks, government offices and businesses should have recognized that

And many of them did, after 93. Many of the big institutional financial companies went over to the backup spaces they had sitting ready in Jersey. Most host servers offsite, or at least backed up offsite. Because of the portability of data these companies lost little of their data. The stairwells in the towers were improved since 1993.

And if terrorists didn't kill 3000 people in the WTC, they would have tried someplace else. Does this mean that we should abandon all concentrations of more than 3000, 2000, 1000 people? Should everyone go off to their own 40 acres and only interact with their coworkers and neighbors by videoconferencing?
posted by andrewraff at 11:55 AM on December 14, 2001

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