Apr. 1st, 2008

amalthya: (fuck off)
I spent the majority of Saturday with Yenni in Soho and the Bowery looking for (and buying) a light fixture for my living room that didn't look like it came from a hospital ER.

And I came to realize that a) I barely spend any time downtown these days and b) downtown is not how I remember it.

Madonna made some comments earlier this week that New York had lost its buzz and while I find her personally offensive, what she said sort of rings true.

As I sat in my super trendy cafe on Spring and Lafayette, waiting for Yenni, I noticed that the cafe had STEVIA in the sugar jar. [Pretentious check-mark number one].

But as I people-watched out the window, I noticed too that no one I saw actually looked like a New Yorker. They all seemed to be obvious tourists, maps and shopping bags in hand, or people who are clearly NOT from New York but have moved to New York and are dressing/behaving how they see New Yorkers behave on TV.

And yes, this means 800 iterations of Carrie Bradshaw et al but I feel like more importantly, the spirit of what made New York, "New York" was lost. When I was in middle school/high school, what set downtown apart was that it was different, and funky. Extremes were the norm, and there was no Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen boutique in the Meat Packing district.

It bothered me, I suppose, that none of the people I saw out the window seemed real. With their matchy-matchy outfits, and designer strollers, and enormous-insect-sunglasses, they didn't look like people who had jobs, or families, or real lives. They just looked like characters they expected to be played by on Television.

I guess all New Yorkers have had this complaint, but it does feel like what characterizes New York nowadays is not its uniqueness, but it's expense. Numerous people have pointed out that no one could live the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle now even if they wanted to.

I think it was funnily characterized by Yenni too who said "Not even Chinese people want to go to Chinatown now."

Anyway, I still enjoy my sojourn to Montien on Thursday nights, and at least some parts of the East Village still feel like real New York. But overall, I'm coming to appreciate "upper manhattan" more and more. It may be a little rough around the edges, but no one can deny that it's real.

Book Theft

Apr. 1st, 2008 12:45 pm
amalthya: (reading)
I've always found it funny when I do Bin Pickup at the library (collecting books that are put in the return bins outside the main entrance) that we'll be checking in some of the books -- that don't seem to have ever been checked out. They are not charged to anyone, and have no return dates, so basically, someone just took them from the library.

How is this possible? Aren't all books supposed to be sensitized when they come back in? If someone went to the trouble of stealing them, why bother to return them?

Another girl who came in last week was not so lucky:

As she'd left Butler, her bag set off the sensor, and, inside, there was a book from the Science library. She was told to come upstairs and see someone about desensitizing it, so she came up to me, pushed the book across the counter and told me to do just that.

Instead, I asked her for her ID, to see if the book was, in fact, charged to her. It was, but it was also a) a book that wasn't supposed to be in circulation. AND it was marked as "Lost". AND it had a recall on it.

I told the girl to wait (I still had her ID *and* the book) and I went back to consult my boss, who contacted the science library manager who affirmed that yes, he wanted his book back right away)

So, when I went back to the desk, I told the girl that we'd have to keep the book and that no, she couldn't have it back.

...She was less than pleased. Sensitization technology conquers again!

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