Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Goat Cheese and High-topped Sneakers on the Roof-top

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I've been rearranging my life. My scientist-aunt took off from her Columbia job and headed for an emerging science project in the mid-west. This left me scrambling to find alternatives to her upper-west-side Columbia-funded apartment I'd been camping out in. I've ended up in a place in Brooklyn. My roomy is a startling combination of being smarter than me, nicer than me, and loopier than me. She free-lances for major newspapers and has a job managing a fashion web-site at ridiculous midnight hours. Last night she had friends over for goat cheese and wine on the rooftop, where you can see the glimmery lights of the city all around.

My roomy's friends are all as nice and smart as she, although not as loopy as either of us. They wear high-topped sneakers and say things like: "But how do you FEEL about skimming the quote unquote 'smart' kids off the top and putting them into 'honors' classes?" By this time, having lived in NYC for 9 months, and have vociferously pitched Obamadoctrine to my independent, conservative-leaning family all the while (a task I've been woot! largely successful at) I consider myself a Democrat. I even (shockers!) put myself down as a Democrat on my register-to-vote form (first-time registering too). That is, I check-marked the Democrat box without thinking. Then I saw the Independent option, said "crap" and tried to erase the Democrat check-mark. Then I thought of Palin and put a large, strong, unmistakable double check-mark next to "Democrat". So yes, it's official, I'm a Democrat.

But give me 5 minutes on a Brooklyn roof-top with goat cheese and liberals and you would think otherwise. I start uttering irresponsible things like "I love Narnia" and "Doesn't Giuliani just crack you up?" The conversation turned to Bloomberg and how the little cultural NYC neighbourhoods are being leveled over by un-conscientious billionaires. But all I could think of was how much I love this city, and not because of its "culture" but because of its bigness, its irresponsibleness, the what-the-hell greed of its sky-scrappers and lights. Yes there couldn't be a worse time to trumpet such qualities. But as much as I love goat-cheese on Brooklyn roof-tops, giving TLC to a fragile culture can get a bit lame as well.


Karen said...

I did this one year. Almost the same story, but having to do with Al Gore, and funny enough there was a dude outside the building when I moseyed out after voting who must've been beind me in line and he'd waited for me to say, "Welcome to the party." :)

Probably trying to pick me up, but still.

Found you via Doug.

dick said...

I spent one intoxicating week in New York seven years ago. I shuffled daily through deep snow from Upper West Side down south and back absorbing it all and tick-boxing everything I'd ever read about the city, thinking, "Wow! The dream-image is real!" With no immediate chance of a re-visit, I shall be checking in here for my booster shots.