One of my favorite places for us to go on dates sometimes is the Museum of the City of New York.
We went recently to see a few exhibits, in particular one on Jackie Robinson’s rookie year, his career and relationship with his teammates, and his relationship with LIFE Magazine. There’s also some great exhibits on organized labor, Pride, and the Village Voice (plus a few ongoing exhibits about the development of New York City) makes this museum always a moving experience to willingly immerse yourself in. I like museums in general because they’re wonderful places to go and discover things (I was so delighted to discover exhibits on video games at the Museum of the Moving Image, including full arcade cabinets), but MCNY in particular constantly feels like it’s full of things about my hometown I never thought about too much and exposes me to the bits of it that make me feel like a better person from it.
Later on we also went to the Queens Night Market, which is one of my favorite places to go since everything at this amazing food thing is only $5 or $6 at the most so for twenty bucks you can eat Bangladeshi curry, Portuguese blood sausages, Filipino noodles, and Jamaican chicken. Then you just come back next week for more from different places, and that’s what helps make this so amazing.
We’ve been going there for a while and it’s always good. I in general love my home borough of Queens and its diversity so much, I love food, and I love trying new foods I normally don’t encounter in my day-to-day life so this is place is, to me, an encapsulation of my hometown and home borough.
The museum and the Night Market are always great go-to date ideas for us, and every time we go to either of them I feel incredibly lucky to be able to live in NYC and have these things out there at my disposal to be able to enjoy when I want. But at the same time, it’s that time of year when I think long and hard about where I live and what’s going on in this town in terms of just not being good for people who want to have homes and permanence in their lives in terms of where they live.
That article circulating about the writer who completely blew her advance (of course she moved to Brooklyn from somewhere else), not to mention NYU giving Hashtag Resistance-type-slash-grifter Lauren Duca a class she completely fucking blows and then thinks nothing of it (while I scrape together a living teaching across multiple schools) just really drive home how predatory living in this city can be and how it’s aimed purposely at keeping a particular economic hard line in place to maintain a division in place as if it’s some sort of legitimate thing you have to get over like a mountain to have “made it” and if you can’t, you don’t deserve the happiness and security it guarantees.
It’s hard for me to really express the full spectrum of this because it’s just…a lot, right? There’s a lot and it’s hard to explain if you’re not from here and that’s a stupid way to frame it but basically as much as I love being from here and my roots are incredibly deep in New York as a grandchild of immigrants and refugees, as a child of middle-ish/working-class parents who encouraged me to take advantage of the city around me…it’s hard to live here sometimes in a way that fully-gives in to the criticisms from people who aren’t from here and can’t see what can make it so fascinating and fulfilling at times.
Anyway, union now, union forever.
I’m mostly just tired from the start of a busy semester (six full classes, all writing-heavy with a full day of workshopping too) that began earlier than usual as well as the writing schedule that Patreon has put on me, which I’m trying hard to keep up with (the new fiction series is short not-really-but-sorta interconnected vignettes called I HAD TO BURN THEM BEFORE THEY BURNED ME, and I’ve been writing about meal boxes, Jawbreaker, FOMO, and I also released the RPG that I created called Tombstone Titans, so go check all that out and help me afford coffee and toilet paper).
Also, I’m reading ROAD DOGS by Elmore Leonard, and enjoying it greatly. I’ll probably write about it for The Means At Hand, especially maybe in light of my recent reread of Leonard’s DJIBOUTI, which I’ve read three times mostly to be able to grapple with the framing and structure (but I’ll get to that fully later on and let you know). Anyway, you can’t go wrong with a good Leonard novel and a meat loaf sandwich with a cup of coffee during your lunch break.
Stay mean, be kind, and listen to more punk rock.