Friday, September 26, 2008

Shout Out From New York

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.


Anonymous said...

As a New Yorker, I'm shocked! No internet cafes!! I'm in Manhattan -- Kansas, that is-- and even we have internet cafes!

And OMG -- $22 for lunch! I can feed my family of 5 for that here! LOL

Have fun! I'm be making the NYC trip in December while home for the holidays. My son wants to see dinosaur bones!

Anonymous said...

a) LGBT Community Center on 208 W13th St has an internet cafe

b) Apple stores for checking email

c) free 2 hrs/day wifi on your laptop at all Starbucks

(a local)

luvicallejas said...

Gizzy's Cafe on 8th St. b/w 5th and 6th Ave. and Think Cafe on Mercer b/w 4th and 3rd St. also have free wifi.

Hope you find them next time you are in the area, Gizzy's has delicious vegan cookies!

Oh, and by the way, great blog!

(another local)

Anonymous said...

On the same block as New School is Joe's with wifi. Te Adore sometimes has it... I recently moved from the NYU-raided East Village to Chinatown, and ALL the second floors of buildings, and many first floors, are internet cafes. (Albeit the kind that mostly caters to teenage boys playing Warcraft.) I recently went into one and looked for blank CDs. After the guy spent 5 minutes looking for scratch-free ones, he gave them to me for free. It certainly feels like the last old school New York neighborhood around.

Anonymous said...

This is with regard to a previous post about the banking crisis.
I actually like your blog and this is probably atrocious blog manners-but I will trust you to understand an attempt to respectfully communicate.
I am not from the Main Line but I got the joke. More to the point, historianally speaking, I recognized your voice as coming from the Main Line from the first time I ever read your blog.
The first thing I remember my mother disliking about me was my tendency to naturally dress like a
girl "from the main line", so deep was her bitterness growing up as she did in South Philadelphia during the depression.Anyway, I like the Main Line element of your voice as I think it adds grace and levity to the radical. Just so you know, South Phillie was always watching.

couturiette said...

Tenured Radical,

Internet cafes and interesting, affordable food definitely exist all over place in New York still - they may just be a bit harder to find. Chinatown is packed with a wealth of diverse, cheap and incredibly delicious food options, as are the East Village, the Lower East Side, and even little strips of the West Village. New York can be frustrating, but even after living in cities from Seoul to Paris to DC I can still say it offers more options, in my opinion, than anywhere else in the world.