This isn’t Am I a Jew? related, but I thought I’d share it anyway. I was in a bicycle accident in New York this past March, and I wrote a very short essay for the The Morning News describing my thoughts in its aftermath. A longish quote from “The City of Right Angles”:
As a seventeen-year-old in 1990, I was robbed at gunpoint across the street from what is now a Marc Jacobs store. Could that happen to me there today? Yes. But would I see it as I did then, as a normal, far from notable occurrence, not worth reporting to the police? I doubt it. That same year, I saw the body of a man who had been shot and killed lying on the street outside my school. I gawked, no doubt, but I made it to my history class on time. I left New York not long after, for college and the lost years of travel, self-indulgence, and failed writing that comprised my twenties. By the time I returned I was married, the children not long in coming, and my acute sense of the city’s menacing rhythms had been blunted. But that no longer mattered. In this New York, grass grows on the Great Lawn in Central Park, the squeegee men have been banished, and the broken windows have been re-glazed. The city I knew, the one on whose streets and subway platforms my survival instincts were honed, no longer exists.