Sep 7, 2010

Escape From New York

According to residents, the mass exodus was triggered by a number of normal, everyday New York City events. For Erin Caldwell of Manhattan, an endlessly honking car horn sent her over the edge, causing her to go into a blind rage and scream "shut up!" at the vehicle as loud as she could until her voice went hoarse; for Danny Tremba of Queens it was being cursed at for walking too slow; and for Paul Ogden, also of Queens, it was his overreaction to somebody walking too slow.

Other incidents that prompted citizens to pick up and leave included the sight of garbage bags stacked 5 feet high on the sidewalk; the realization that being alone among millions of anonymous people is actually quite horrifying; a blaring siren that droned on and fucking on; muddy, refuse-filled puddles that have inexplicably not dried in three years; the thought of growing into a person whose meanness and cynicism is cloaked in a kind of holier-than-thou brand of sarcasm that the rest of the world finds nauseating; and all the goddamn people.

In addition, 3 million New Yorkers reportedly left the city because they realized the phrase "Only in New York" is actually just a defense mechanism used to convince themselves that seeing a naked man take a shit on a park bench is somehow endearing, or part of some shared cultural experience.
All painfully true, and yet of course, also wrong. One germ of unequivocal truth: Sometimes it's only the people here that make the struggle worthwhile; minus them, this might indeed be a place worth leaving. Cue Snake Plissken.

For me, extra-credit pangs include the reference to Scottsdale, Ariz. (essentially my hometown), not to mention the priceless closing graf:
By Tuesday night, New York was completely abandoned. At press time, however, some 10 million Los Angeles–area residents, tired of their self-centered, laid-back culture and lack of four distinct seasons, and yearning for the hustle and bustle of East Coast life, had already begun repopulating the city.
(h/t Scott Walters)

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