City Living 2

Alec Baldwin reads Colson Whitehead's "Lost and Found":

I read this piece for the first time back during the 10th anniversary recap in September when folks were linking to articles written in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It's got two of my favorite quotes about urban living that apply equally well to New York as they do to any city:
You are [from a place] the first time you say, ''That used to be _____''
And this quote about change, maturation, acceptance, and / or forgiveness:
Maybe we become New Yorkers the day we realize that New York will go on without us. To put off the inevitable, we try to fix the city in place, remember it as it was, doing to the city what we would never allow to be done to ourselves. The kid on the uptown No. 1 train, the new arrival stepping out of Grand Central, the jerk at the intersection who doesn't know east from west: those people don't exist anymore, ceased to be a couple of apartments ago, and we wouldn't have it any other way. New York City does not hold our former selves against us. Perhaps we can extend the same courtesy.


Idiom Watch

  • That's my speed - You instantly picture Steve McQueen in place of whoever utters this phrase, and he's a cool dude who drives fast (which is itself a cool thing to do), so you want to match his speed. That's what separates this phrase from generic "I like ____" statements: it implicitly invites the listener to agreement, if only they would step on the gas to catch up, or equally, one supposes, the brakes to chill out.
  • Walking around money - Nothing says class like old timey political grift, and this phrase connotes the fattest of ward bosses doling out dollars in exchange for votes on the correct side of the ballot. Try it out on your partner the next time you need a couple bills from your (ultimately, if not explicitly) shared bank account but forgot to swing by the ATM before meeting them at the bar, and see if it doesn't put a smile in the corner of their mouth.