I am done with my meetings and have a few hours to kill, so I will be walking all around the places and spaces I miss in the city. right now needed another cup of coffee and some time to simply digest all the part and components of an idea and the people's thoughts in the meetings, yet, feeling a bit odd, as I don’t hear much English being spoken as I walked through the meatpacking district, the village and Chelsea.
Why do I find this odd? I guess a normal American can’t afford to live here anymore? but wealthy foreign nationals using LLC fronts can. I have long seen the gentrification in Brooklyn, and in pockets of NYC, you see no homeless because of the wealthy somehow erecting what seems like an invisible barrier. my friends who have spent their life living in Brooklyn are now looking at other cities to live. “we just can’t afford to live here. the idea of living to work just isn’t worth it anymore.”
I am guessing that because of the cold weather I see very few homeless, but I think that will change tonight when it gets cold. I think this was the first time in many years walking down a street in NYC was actually nice. no human bumper pool or pinball with people. I think back to the city designers and their probable estimates for walking traffic and I think this is what they might have envisioned.
walking through the various neighborhoods, you will see it all in New York. from the immigrant ethnic sections to the high tech “look how trendy we are” sections, and the fashionista section will forever be what it is. there was a black man in his custom-made wardrobe ensemble that I almost went up to and said, “nice style man, can you come up with a dull, boring, but stylish conservative look for me? not so flamboyant, yet, stylish?"
yes, I have had times where I wanted to make my own clothes simply because the stuff on the market is not who I am. I also don’t think the idea of following fashion trends is very cool on a personal level. so while I have learned to use sewing machines and even took a course in hand stitching, I don’t have the time or want to dedicate the time to learn to make my own clothes/style. call me boring, or I simply have too many ideas and limited time?
after the meetings, I am free to do the other part of the reason I am coming into the city, and that is to observe the people and try to guess what will happen with the trajectory of mass urban influx in the coming 30 years. I can sense what will happen, and I fear that the inequality of income will simply push a lot of people out of the city who will have to travel a great distance to get a job working in a hotel. in some respects, it reminds me of what many workers in India and Brazil have to do with travel time. the future will have super tech apartments and houses for the rich and while I fear it will be a lonely existence for many – there won’t be a lack of want for anything but “happiness” and joy in the hearts of the people.
even my old coffee stomping ground in the ace hotel is off limits now. I walked into get a cup of coffee and the entire lobby is full of people not drinking coffee, not staying at the hotel, and just sucking up space. who are these people? they look like well-educated young people all sitting around upgrading their social media accounts and taking up space.
I walked into Stumptown and for whatever reason walked right out.
Stumptown was my first coffee love, but I don’t think the trajectory after they were sold is working too well for anyone that remembers how they started. but for a while there, Stumptown was wonderful. I will think of the place as my first coffee love affair. while that sounds odd, and you have to grow and change, it appears my favorite roaster has gone the way of big coffee and while I wish the original owners well, I guess I am done with fluff, bullshit, and branding “image.” I want something real - like the amazing beans they used to get and roast in tiny batches.
now Starbucks is trying that, but if you search something called “bad Kona coffee” on this site, you will be led to the what I think of Starbucks trying to be trendy and everything to everyone, not a kick-ass coffee shop.
now I will go and walk, think, stop and jot notes, maybe take a photo or two. there is one spot in midtown I should practice getting an image I can see in my head but never had someone to work with me in the image…c’est la vie
now I am playing with shutter speeds and looking to capture some odd image. there are several benefits of digital in that you can take a lot of trials and see the results instantly. it doesn’t seem to make up for all the time and the film that was shot and developed over the years. I have to laugh that someone said, “so and so is a professional photographer…they went to school for four years to study it!”
I am learning to keep my mouth shut as I age and ignore some comments from people. I might be getting the hang of letting it in one ear and out the other.
now I have a warm coffee and I really am surprised how pleasant it is walking along the streets of New York. it is as if this is what the designers imagined for pedestrian density and travel. it makes life decent versus the nightmare it has become when the weather gets better.
the closer is I am walking along and two guys are having a conversation in Swiss German. I had to laugh and greeted them. I am guessing by the way they shut up, either my Swiss German is bad or they work for the Swiss bank down the street.
now at night, I watch the various people in the city. it only took them 10 years to corral the bad costumes annoying tourists in time square. the police and the homeless will always seem to have a Mexican standoff with someone that fell through the cracks and usually whose mind is not all healthy and they want to be left alone, yet, they want to be left alone in the middle of a sprawling city. a part of me wants to cry as there were a few folks that needed a bath, that is just walking along…in tatters…yet, I really have no idea if I they even would want help?
what do you do when you want to walk up to someone to give them help and you hear them threatening bodily harm on another person? i still think of the one man in tattered jeans with cardboard underwear and wonder, "could i have actually done anything to help him besides pray?"
it is something about the united states that mystifies me. for such a developed nation, we really have forgotten and are forgetting, even more, the overall needs of the country for the sake of a few gaining a whole lot.
life is funny…but I am really looking for a loft or an old abandoned factory town somewhere on the planet to build a skunkworks space for many ideas. while I love the idea of a big city, the noise levels and man-made stress is probably not all that healthy for the human over the long term. but that is just my opinion, of which it is free.