I’ve frequently been accused of being less than jovial, but not quite irascible. One friend from Brooklyn has advised me that it derives from being a New Yorker. Mindful that this is a trait he seems to share with me, he distracts the conversation before it descends into an unfair comparison of Manhattenite versus Brooklynite.
Manhattan, or Brooklyn against any other borough of the City, is always a fun game. But fun game or not, the game of comparing one borough against the other eventually becomes an argument.
Of course, Staten Island almost always loses out. Habitues of both Manhatten and Brooklyn agree that Staten Island is a part of Jersey.
The mystery of this conversation is that the two of us put our membership in the New York City collaborative behind us well over half a century ago. We both shot out of the cannon’s mouth on our way to New England. In the passing years, we’ve grown, and the “New York” in us has settled into the background.
But the two halves of a critical mass meet when we get together, on the phone or in person, and the chain reaction starts.
We only met and became friends in the nineties. However, despite growing up in a vast city and not knowing each other, we occupied Greenwich Village simultaneously, knew the same people, had similar experiences, and haunted identical places like the Minetta Tavern and Cafe Rienzi.
So during one of our Christmas conversations, don’t stand too close, or you could find yourself shivering on the corner of MacDougall and Bleeker on a cold winter evening while the two of us yammer on about associates who were making it.
Be kind. If you happen upon this temporal/spatial transposition cranking up like Doctor Who’s Tardis in need of a tune-up, separate us. To us, it might seem like a big elaborate present all tied up with a bow – we would be home. But if you get caught in the backdraft and find yourself with us in the Village, I advise that you stay close, follow us, and after the last gig is over and the bars close, we’ll drop you off on our way to the all-night deli with the best bagels in the City.