COTD: Gentrification Edition

I moved to New York City back in 2002 hoping to find my place in the cultural core of America. Turns out I was a few decades late. Dylan and Warhol and Jeff Buckley all left town a while ago, and what's left is...not the same.

Not to overly romanticize a sometimes-sordid civic history, but I thought that this was still where it was for poets and songwriters and free spirits. Instead it's where it is for bankers and real estate speculators and people so busy curating their collection of vintage glasses frames they wouldn't know a sincere thought if it wriggled into their skinny jeans with them. Little pockets of the old spark may still exist, but they're curios of a fading time. Bloomberg's New York is not that kind of place.

But creativity does not die. It shifts, it finds new forms, it manifests itself differently. The poetry is still there waiting to be understood — like how Klic hears it in the barbarian yawp of a snow dragster's violent yearning:

That sounds like a cave troll that was angered by the loss of his family then fell to drink for many years finally ending in a chain smoking binge that led him to this opportune moment of audible disdain for the modern world being compressed into one outburst of pain, misery, and fury that follows a sad life of drugs, alcohol and emotional damage that can be called nothing short of poetic mastery culminating in a fanciful tale of romantic if implausible loss pertaining to but not limited to the despair and hatred embodied by the soulless great beast.

(Photo of the Subway restaurant in Williamsburg where an Indian takeout place used to be: Sharilyn Neidhardt)