Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I’ll never set foot in Yankee Stadium again after Sunday, but this doesn’t make me sad. It doesn’t make me sad because New York is a place I no longer recognize. I no longer recognize New York because its current incarnation bears no resemblance to the place in which I grew up. I’m not upset about this. I’m just pointing out a fact.

There are parts of New York that do look, smell and sound the same. I live in one such place. It’s the places we went as kids – the ones that made New York unique – that have changed. I’m neither happy nor sad about this. I’m simply watching it happen.

Some people grow up here and absorb the place. Some don’t. I’ve interacted with both types of people and prefer the former. The latter, however, often seem to have assumed stewardship of the things about which the former are sentimental. I realized this a while back and stopped worrying about it.

Sort of like Mayor Bloomberg telling us he’d wistfully watched Second Avenue buses passing by while his limo muddled through stalled traffic, thinking he’d rather be on them. You grow numb to that sort of thing if you hear enough of it.

Some people come here from elsewhere and get overwhelmed. Some come, stay for a few years, and think they’re in. I’ve interacted with both types of people and find the latter tiresome. At least the former have some respect for the place.

Yankee Stadium is done on Sunday, and I don’t care. I stopped caring the day they shoveled the last burned tire out of Tompkins Square Park and the day the first twenty-three-year-old Iowan hipster carried his messenger bag into Williamsburg.

They’ve all made it a nicer place to live, but I don’t know my way around anymore.