04 December 2006

Land of Sunless Wind Tunnels

I moved to New York two years ago after working on the Kerry campaign. We lost, my "boyfriend" at the time suggested I "hang out" for a while and see New York. Rich is a pretty dead serious guy and he advised me to watch the PBS 14 hour documentary on New York City. Now, I appreciate his interest in my edification about my new city (especially since I never planned nor aspired to live here), but I could only ever make it through one hour of the two hour episodes before I fell asleep like a little baby.

I learned a lot and I think of the documentary often when I'm walking through the city. Things like the original name for Manhattan: Mannahatta; where the sale and purchase of the island was made; the wonders and miracle of Central park and the grid city plan above 14th St. Then there's Boss Tweed, Cooper Union and all the other political history that's given structure to the national political landscape (especially Abe Lincoln's speech at Cooper Union, coming in as an unknown) as well as the continued corrupt political landscape of New York politics...

When plans for Manhattan were being discussed, there was one insightful soul who said that the proposed sky scrapers would make this land one of sunless wind tunnels. And that's my entire point. By 2pm the sun only hits the tops of 10 story buildings and the windchill going east is sometimes different than the windchill going north.

It begs the question: why do 8 million people stay? My only answer is that it's because it's a sunless wind tunnel.

Makes a TON of sense, right?


At 1:26 AM, Anonymous Jake said...

I agree. There is no place colder than enyce (Manhattan in particular) in the winter. Something about the lack of sunlight and amplified contrasting with overheated apartments, and then there is the inevitable problem of stepping in slushy puddles.. but it is much worse in the summer. Now this summer was pretty mild, but there is something about the City when it's in the high 90's. It's not so much the heat.. or the humidity, which are bad, but the combination with that rotting garbage smell you run into sometimes that make it unliveable.

It is the greatest city in the world though..

I am flying to Boston on the 22nd, I should be down there at some point. Maybe New Yearsish.

If you don't grow out of this new york phase soon, it may become a habit. I have been considering thoughts of city living myself..

At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blogger just ate my post...

Anyway, I was saying... This post has a definite tone. I saw just the other day that the temp in NYC was 65ยบ - well shiver my timbers why don't you!

I realize that such temps are rare this time of year. But you can look to the bright side of things, or not.

Like when I am biking in the rain and my shoes are soaked. I look forward to getting home so that I can take them off and dry off my feet. Or nights like tonight, when the full moon shines brightly through a thin fast moving strato fog layer... But the air is relatively still here on the sheltered surface of things...

I know that you'll make the right decision, whether you decide to stay in NYC or not. I have always found D.C. to be a neat city. North Carolina has some good things going for it, too.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

North Carolina most certainly has good things going for it. But so does MN. See this story on cnn today: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TRAVEL/DESTINATIONS/12/05/minneapolis.christmas.ap/index.html

Happy Holidays from lovely North Carolina, where the leaves are still changing in the Piedmont.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Andrew said...


[the last part of that url]

At 2:39 PM, Blogger cole said...

when i resided in San Francisco i was so thrilled to be living in a 7 by 7 concrete jungle at the time. i loved being a urbanite, my mountain bike as my transortation, going anywhere i wanted anytime. i recall a ride i took over the GG Bridge and up Mt. Tam and looked back at the city, glittering with life and speed, everyone going somewhere, doing something. I just breathed it in and it nourished me in my time of carefree youth.

thanks for inspiring me to take a moment and reflect on my own place called home.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Susie said...

You guys are the best. Where would a girl be without you?

Can't wait to see you NYC side Jake-the rest of yas...when you going to visit me? Jan through March is best...for me...May through July is best...for weather!



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