Blogging from a small part of the Internet linked to NYC.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

NewYorkers (not "New Yorkers" because we're not "New" Yorkers, we've been here the whole time)

We NewYorkers (not "NEWYORKER" or "Newyorker") are a different breed. You can't quite pin us down, but once you start to understand us... you'll always know us.

We're rich AND poor, literally, figuratively, emotionally, culturally, metaphysically. We're fast-paced, but don't rush us, God forbid you should ever push us! Or, step on our shoe. We're street-smart, book-smart, and whatever other smart you got. We can be polite and helpful, and we can be pushy and obnoxious, it all depends on the situation and how you ask. We know everything, even when we don't know jack. We can overcome practically any obstacle, deal with any situation, overcome any adversity, but only after we bitch and complain. That's when we realize, or someone makes us realize, and remember, that we're Newyorkers. We're the best, and the worst. We excel to the top, even we "live in the ditches". Things here are interesting, while simultaneously the "common everyday". We've been on constant orange alert, long before there was an "orange alert". Nothing phases us. To paraphrase the old saying, "There are eight billion stories in the naked city... and I've already heard half of them. So your's better be good."

My memory of the Blackout of '77 is a brick sitting on top of a lit stove. The lights had gone out, and my mom had lit some candles. It had gotten a bit chilly in our apartment, and she put the brick on the stove for warmth. Don't ask me how, but it worked. We sat at the window to see what was going on that night. I remember people sitting outside, mostly older people. Some people were walking around like they actually had someplace to go. We listened to the radio. My dad worked nights and my mom was worried about where he was, if he was safe, about how he'd get home... But me and my brother, we just watched what was going on outside. I don't know about my mom and brother, but me, I KNEW my dad would be safe. Not because I was psychic, but because my dad is a NewYorker (even though he retired to Florida). When he got home, my mom asked if he was ok and how he made it home. He had a look on his face like she just spoke in Chinese. He said "What do you mean? I walked home.", like it was nothing but a transit strike. He had even stopped to pick up some milk. "What?"

That's why when the 2003 Blackout happened, I didn't really worry. I'm a NewYorker, and it's just another thing I have to deal with. We set up a couple of chairs outside, had an ice cooler with some drinks and snacks, and took turns sleeping. By and large, nothing really happened. Just a lot of people walking around, stocking up on supplies, having a different New York experience. Oh, I know a lot COULD have happened. But... it didn't.

Besides, we already had milk.


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