New York diary


Sometimes, the stations, lines, signs, and lights make the subway network seem like a subterranean city.

A city in perpetual darkness, constantly lit.
A city everyone visits, but no one stays.
A crowded city, a deserted one.
A city of strangers.
A city that does not sleep.
A city ceaselessly renewing itself.
A city fused with its twin, dependent on it.

8 thoughts on “New York diary

  1. I think that in a busy, dynamic place like New York sometimes “the surrender to machines” represents an opportunity for escapism – I know that is part of the reason why my Kindle is always with me on public transport!

  2. “It was obscene. The world has too many books, too many published writers. We should stop publishing books for five years. Give the readers some time to catch up!”

    This is EXACTLY how I feel! I have roughly 100 unread books at home and I’ve just ordered 11 more and there are six others I want and I just feel breathless and STRESSED.

  3. This is so true. Writers, editors, publishers – all trying to sell sell sell! The best of books are lost in the midst of hundreds of average skill. One has to sift through heaps to find quality and all this arbit junk is just putting the overall intelligence of humankind down.

  4. You probably can’t know what a pleasure it is to look at this (to me most) extraordinary city through your eyes and head, especially since I know you’ve done the same through mine. It is overwhelming, sometimes, and frightening in its excess and instances of human isolation, self-imposed and not. I’m especially struck by your observations about Apple and the masters and slaves; by the photograph of the homeless man in that particular subway; by the $4.95 price of looking smart in the subway, reading Eliot: this week’s special, no doubt. And by the quiet I felt when you were in the museum, in contrast to the rest of this fine essay.

    In Montreal we too have our underground city – we even call it that – our “twin” to the city above, but it’s filled with shops and restaurants and brightly lit: just another mall that gives onto the clean, bright subway and its singing trains on rubber wheels. When I’m in New York I always think that subway is somehow more honest, as a dark reflection of the wealth and glitter above.

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