New York City and Vicarious Living

Two guys were at it. It all started like this:

“I got it, dude ! you’re telling me that in New York anything can happen. I’ve been here since time immemorial, but you NEED to listen!  I’ve seen it with my own eyes. People who sit by the fountains and pretend to feed the fish, steal their money instead. I have seen that, more than just once. And who are you? I mean, whoareya? Don’t try to outsmart me or second-guess me.  And what do you mean by ‘I have an attitude?’   You are the one with the attitude, not me.”

And they went on and on… 

That was a typical New York crazy, neurotic urban argument and all that, in lieu of conversation. Take no prisoners, that’s right.  Everybody is King of the Hill; but if you ask them any one single personal question, they will claim you’re disrespecting. 
And how about the brand new NY implants (a.k.a. newbies)? Boy,they keep on coming, don’t they? Seeking glory in recognition, fame or fortune.  But don’t try to look for their backbone, ’cause you will have trouble finding it. And who can blame them?  Before they even arrive, they’ve been hearing all the stories. I’d be scared too.
But as soon as they listen to a NYC inspired song, Voila!! they  become instant, well… newyorkers.  And they will tell you so, first chance they get. Tell me that ain’t a good example of vicarious living.
I believe deep in my heart that all these migrant people who are here today lost, or are about to lose, their “from the cradle” cozy innocence. Of course that’s not saying that they wouldn’t have lost it in some other place anyway. But here, their metamorphosis is brutal. Going back to whatever tiny life they had back in their SmallVille bear-eating salmon cocooned small Americana town is absolutely not a choice.  So they stick, grind and stay.
For that, and in my humble opinion, I feel they should be praised.
Most intelligent folks realize that NY is a living oxymoron. And a monster at that.
There are as many contradictions here as there are those famous NY cockroaches.
The happy-go-lucky Puerto Ricans are the toast of the town. Granted. But we also know that they hold dear The Great American dream of which they belong to. When you dissect it, you’d see,smell and feel a fantastic “Cinderella” type of tale-ending story. And what a story that is!
Oh heck!  We all more or less know how the whole schlang went down for them about their independent (non-associated) state-hood. A very sweet, sweet, deal indeed. But boy! these guys really fought for us, not in one, but two World Wars plus Vietnam and Korea. Yes, the New York Puerto Ricans, otherwise known as newyork-ricans.  A true American ferry tale. 
Crime updates.  New York’s crime is rampant, anyone who can read, or choose to read newspapers knows that. The mayors are always promising the promised land.  After all it sounded great when MLK said it, even made him famous for it, or in spite of.
Crime in the Big Apple is synonymous with New York.  It’s everywhere, but I have never seen it.  Not once.  In twenty or so years that I lived in NY, I’ve never seen a felony being committed, much less a misdemeanor. The only crime I see is the terrible offense that is shown everyday when manners are such a misunderstood human feature; like something weird that went out of fashion a long, long time ago.  Worse, some interpret that as to mean weakness. Whilst some others think it could be some fancy French cuisine dish or maybe chow for the farm animals. MANNERS. Yeap, go figure…The Big Apple, gotta love it…

by René Volpi  ~stillmind~

“Tales from The Amazon”
 and Assorted Short Stories

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