I've been reading David Rakoff's new book, Half Empty, and immensely enjoying what feels like a meeting of the minds. He champions the positive power of negative thinking, in general, and here and there, has something to say about New York City.
In his essay "Isn't It Romantic," he goes after the musical Rent for being bad in many ways. This quote from the essay stood out and I reproduce it here because how often does someone sum it all up so neatly?
"...New York was becoming far too expensive and criminally inhospitable to young people who tried to come here with dreams of making art, and how regrettable that the town's vibrancy and authenticity were being replaced by a culture-free, high-end-retail cluster-fuck of luxury condo buildings whose all-glass walls essentially require a populace that doesn't own bookshelves or, consequently, books.
A metropolis of streets once thriving with local businesses and services now consisting of nothing but Marc Jacobs store after Marc Jacobs store and cupcake purveyors (is there anything more blandly sweet, less evocative of this great city, and more goyish than any other baked good with the possible exception of Eucharist wafers than the cupcake?)."
The St. Mark's Bookshop has copies of Half Empty in stock.
Fran on NYC
Sante's Lost City