I think the article you wrote for Gawker on July 7 says a helluva lot about New York and about what New York does to all of us living here. And it made me think.
At the point where I am (24, quasijournalist, quasiresident, starting yet another time anew), from the place where I come (Rome, not one of those starry-skied little towns that feel too small not to be left behind) and with the goals I’m trying to accomplish (
Senior Editor EIC @ NYT), your article makes me wonder whether there actually are ny-specific reasons to be living here, enduring in my efforts and keeping on trying, or if more simply I was caught in that trip of stubbornness and desperate desire for self-affirmation that everybody seems to be on.
When my husband (note to this blog’s readers: yes, we got married last June 14 and yes, it was great) and I were talking about where we picture ourselves in 10 years last night, while waiting for the 6 train in Union Sq, I kind of felt the carpet being pulled from under my feet as he said he doesn’t think we’ll live here forever. “There’s no other city with a New York Times” was my response. But how does that even make sense? It’s such a specific answer, implying such a specific career ambition, that it’s just ridiculous. Is ever working there even an attainable thing? And even before the attainability comes into question, is it even fair to consider such a workplace — work-place, where it’s not just the work that’s important, but especially the place — the ultimate goal, assuming that there is no other “place” worth being a writer for than the one that influences the whole world? Does it really? Or is it just the New Yorkers or wannabeNYers to think that?
And how is it that everything that in these questions refers to the NYT as a workplace also refers just as fittingly to NYC as a place to live?
I guess there is a New York Syndrome, and it has a lot to do with facing the fear of failing and trying not to in the hardest place on Earth you could possibly pick to succeed. It’s not just about making it, it’s about making it here, and sometimes the “here” part can become bigger than the things you are trying to make happen. All in all I just wish I knew if this whole NYthing has to do with stuff I want and need for my life or just some post-teenage omnipotence delirium that says that you HAVE TO (be here, live here, make it here, work here, be happy here).
Anyway, good stuff. And say hi to LA that I sometimes miss even though I only visited for a weekend. There’s no other city with a Salvation Mountain nearby, after all, and that kinda says a helluva lot too.