Monday, December 28, 2009

Gloomy Glum Old New York

Just look at all these miserable wretches.

That business about New York being America's most miserable place bothers me.

Are we really so miserable here? The weather's rotten this time of year. It's so damn crowded and expensive. And I was treated to the spectacle of a man brushing his teeth on the F train today. I've seen many things before on the subway, but not that.

So, why are so many people coming here? Are they just crazy?
Are all those loony tourists packed into Times Square on New Years' Eve there for a Moment of Silence?

Of course, there is all that gloomy music from New York composers like Irving Berlin, the Gershwins ("S'Wonderful!" a tune used frequently at funerals), The New York Dolls, The Ramones, and Cindi Lauper ("Girls Just Want to Have Fun;" it might as well be a Russian novel ending in murder/suicide). No one writes dirges like New Yorkers. Bartok and Mahler ain't got nuthin' on us.

We just couldn't get through a normal day without Xanax and Zoloft.

And everybody from Flo Ziegfeld to Tommy Tune, what a bunch of kvetchers!

I mean really, just look at these three sad sacks who wish they could be anywhere else in the world:

Sheesh! Cheer up, would ya?

No wonder Hollywood destroys this place a dozen times over every summer!

And what about the South, officially the Happiest Place in America? How about the Sunny South? Zippity do dah, zippity -ay! My oh my! What a wonderful day?

How about all those sunny feel-good novels written by William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, William Styron, and Tennessee Williams? There's nothing like "The Glass Menagerie" to get me through a rough day.

Here's something from the South to perk you right up:

I can't imagine why anyone would want to leave the place.

So how 'bout a little smile?

Selma, Alabama photographed by Walker Evans in 1935

Could there possibly be something wrong with the basic premise of such a study to find the "happiest" place anywhere?

Nah! These folks are professionals!


toujoursdan said...

At least the F train worked for you today. After waiting 45 minutes for a train to show up, I gave up, walked into downtown Brooklyn and picked up the A at Jay Street. I don't know if it was the cold or what that affected it but I am glad I am young and fit enough to make the walk. I like NYC a lot but don't think I could handle it if I was old or disabled.

June Butler said...

Counterlight, I did not take the survey seriously. In my opinion, that kind of survey is silly. We live where we live.

I love New York, but because of my age, I would want to live there only if I were very rich. There's truth in what Dan says. I've seen the elderly and disabled hobbling along, carrying their bags of groceries, and it can't be easy.

However, when I was younger, it would have been a dream come true to live there - after New Orleans, of course.

Counterlight said...

I hope to be able to retire to San Francisco in my dotage. I don't know if that would be possible, but it's a nice thought. I have no desire to retire to the "6th Borough" of New York, Florida.
I've had enough of Texas for one lifetime. I'd go back to the Midwest except for the rotten climate.

Michael dreams big. He'd like to retire to Hawaii.