New York, New York

by A. Jay Adler on May 4, 2010
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So I’m reading along, minding my own business, downing some crumpets and coffee (don’t even start) with my morning Goldberg, attending to what his journalistic eminence has to say about the latest loser with “My life has been a waste of organic material” written across his forehead, who thought he would honor his God by killing random, innocent humans, when I follow this link from the aforesaid trusted Goldberg to the nowsaid James Fallows and “If the TSA Were Running New York.” Fallows is a fine fellow, a journaliste grise, if I may say (and whatever, I did) listen to what he has to say on China, the man knows, and by the way, he’s about as cloud connected as a writer gets, he knows his techno too – he led me amid all the dreck of online backup services to SugarSync, surely the Cadillac of don’t-worry-be-happy-and-write, we-got-your-back programs – and this Fallow feathered friend, or so I thought him, is much humorously about offering kudos to New York’s finest, and the redoubtable New Yorker in general, for how they deal with all this (not to put too fine a point on it) terrorist shit, when, in the midst of what now can only appear, despite all misdirection to the contrary, a case of best foot forward, Fallow mouth lets out with

New York is the least *American* of U.S. cities

Say what?

All right. Listen up. Let’s get this straight, ‘cause I ain’t gonna say it again. Life, in case you hadn’t noticed, is busy, and who’s got time for numbskulls. Know what I mean?

New York City is America. Where did this whole enterprise get started? Jamestown? Yeah, wasn’t that a raging success. The Massachusetts Bay? Okay, New England gets some paragraphs, but can it match this?

Didn’t think so.

First capital of the United States of America – New York City. What, Philadelphia? It all depends on how you consider it, Articles of Confederation, blah, blah, blah?

Washington’s first inauguration – where’d it take place?

That’s Federal Hall, in lower Manhattan. It’s still there. Come on one of those “It’s a nice place to visit”s and see it up close. Know your country. Shut up.

Largest battle of the Revolutionary War, the one in which Washington saved the revolution from failing before it barely started? The Battle of New York.

Oh, I could go on, but let’s get to the essential. You think Americans are good people, smart people, rugged people of toughness and endurance? It started in New York. It traveled through New York, traveled out of New York, was forged in New York. Oh, sure, some other Americans reached these greener places, these more open spaces, more oceanic spaces, and they became – what’s the word? Oh, yeah – quieter. More, you know, pacific. That’s fine. That’s good. It’s all good. But more American? Puhleasssee.

The melting pot, you say? Reach down to the bottom. Go ahead, reach down, it’s hot, but it won’t burn you. It’s actually kinda cool. You know what you’ll find there? Queens, New York, where I grew up, and where, according to the New York State Comptroller, over 138 languages are spoken. They’re mixing and melding as I write. Don’t think so? Have you been there? Shut up.

Finally – and you know I’ve saved the best for last – in Saving Private Ryan, who’s the one G.I. sent to save Ryan who survives? You got it: the guy from Brooklyn. Ed Burns.

Would Steven Spielberg lie? Besides, the film made beaucoup bucks. What’s more American than that?

So enough of this crap about New York City and America.

‘Cause I’m from New York City, which is in America.

You don’t want to piss me off.

AJA


4 comments

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

copithorne May 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm

In my family too it is not forgotten how it was the men of the 20th Maine who withstood several direct charges on Little Round Top before whupping the 9th Alabama in a desperate daring bayonet charge, thus saving the Union flank in the battle of Gettysburg, the Union cause and Democracy in the West.

And it is not forgotten how it was only ten days later how New York city erupted in draft riots as the men of that city would happily trade the last best hope of mankind for a bottle of border state bourbon.

Anyone who has a warm bed in New York city can count themselves among the most fortunate in the world. But patriotism, sir? America? In that regard Boston has carried New York like it carries David Ortiz.

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A. Jay Adler May 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Okay, now you’re pickin’ a fight.

But I’m not taking the bait. Fact is, I love New England. Everything Northeast of New York is my territory, fall, spring, and summer. (You can keep the winter – especially in Boston).

But before you dis New York too far, I’ve got three letters for you – FDR.

Now, as to border state bourbon…

Reply

copithorne May 6, 2010 at 7:26 am

Well I think New York is the world’s greatest city.

Howevah, it has not been forgotten in my New England family that New York was the center of loyalist tories who craved servility to the Crown. They had to be dragged into the sunlight of freedom by real patriots.

And when convicted felon George Steinbrenner delivered a suitcase of cash to Richard Nixon’s CREEPS, we knew that the flame of Tory servility was still lit in Gotham.

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John Curran May 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I’m thinking he’s never spent any time in New Orleans.

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