I am here, wandering around the former City of My Dreams, with a large messenger bag full of tee shirts, underwear, books and a laptop. My main goal is to see as many movies as I can in three days, grab some face time with friends, and replenish my supply of black tees and cheap hoop earrings.
I have already seen Boogieman, a not-so-good documentary about Lee Atwater, which curiously does not feature a single member of his family. Am proceeding, within five minutes, to the new Spike Lee film about a black regiment in Italy during World War II.
I haven’t been to New York since May, I think, and for the first time this city — which I truly thought of as home for the first twenty-five years of my adult life – feels a little soulless.
Item: I could not find a single internet cafe near NYU or the New School and am now, actually, crouched on the floor in the engineering section of Barnes and Noble on 66th street and Broadway. In fact, there are almost no cafes, period, showing that the expansion of the corporate university has at least partly destroyed the urban atmosphere students to downtown New York universities to be a part of.
Item: I had lunch in a restaurant next to the Cinema Village on 12th street (also next to the building where my first therapist had an office), a restaurant that served nothing but hamburgers and fries. I ordered the lunch special –hamburger, fries and a diet Coke. Price of meal with tip: $22.00.
Item: It started to rain again while I was in the movies. I walked all the way from 12th and university to the West Fourth Street subway station without passing a single person selling umbrellas.
Item: people are parked all over this Barnes and Noble, sitting on the floor using the internet ($3.99 for two hours), because there are no internet cafes.
This makes absolutely no sense to me.