Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In a New York State of Mindshare

So I was watching the Sopranos, and Tony got a hotel room with a view of Central Park. It got me thinking about New York's grip on our collective imagination. I could go on at length, but I think this scene from the Sopranos sums it up. We, as the audience, are meant to think that it's a great view. By New York standards, it is a great view. Yet Central Park, in addition to being a mediocre park, isn't actually a great view. It's basically a rectangle of green surrounded by mostly ugly buildings. I would vastly prefer a lake view in Chicago or, for that matter, a view of the New York skyline from Brooklyn. This reality is obscured by the strange respect that Central Park gets, perhaps because it is indeed a nice park by New York standards. I'll post later about the myth of "urban" New York, but for now just consider the disparity between New York reality and American imagination.


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