Monday, September 25, 2006

By Contrast...

Last week, the New York Times ran an article about Detroit's mildly successful body collection industry, which prompted my first Short Schrift post in months.

This week, there's an article about a New York divorcee who recently moved from Westchester into a one-bedroom apartment in midtown Manhattan.

Let's take a look.
1) "It’s very touristy. This is a neighborhood where they sell single bananas in the food stores."

2) When her marriage came to an abrupt end two years ago, she found this apartment, a condo she sublets for just under $3,000 a month and which she described as “dangerously close to Bergdorf’s.”

3) “On the Upper West Side, everyone knew everyone,” she said of her early years there. “It was too much! I thought: ‘I’ve got a lot of friends. I don’t want to fill my friend list right now. I want to go someplace where I don’t know anyone.’ I wanted to land on a different planet.”

4) Ms. Pierson, executive creative director at 141 Worldwide, a subsidiary of Ogilvy & Mather, is also a writer and has completed her fourth book, “Males, Nails, and Sample Sales: Everything a Woman Must Know to be Smarter, Savvier, Saner Sooner,” now available from Simon & Schuster.

5) Snowy days and thunderstorms did her in. “Once we lost power right before the Tonys, and I wanted to kill myself,” she said.

6) "I get to know the carriage horses. Just seeing them everyday and saying hi is fabulous.”

7) So delighted is she to be back in the city, in fact, that she even rhapsodizes about the garbage trucks that crowd onto her street every night. Perhaps it helps that the trash comes from the particularly well-heeled, out the back doors of the Plaza and Ritz-Carlton.

8) “White people kill themselves. Black people kill each other. Chinese people don’t die.”
Hint: one of the sentences actually comes from the article about Detroit.

Note: if I had one wish, it would be that everything were different. Starting with myself.

Monday, September 18, 2006

One Better

Who reads Short Schrift anymore? Unless you've left it on your RSS reader for sentimental reasons, or you're wondering whether its author has dropped off the face of the planet, nobody. That's what happens when you don't write for months on end.

I've had good excuses. I moved house twice, for complicated reasons better left unsaid. I fell into a deep dank hole of depression that turned out to be probably food poisoning. (Still coming out of that one.) I started classes again and became busier than I'd been in a couple of years.

So you'd think that a renewal in posts would be the result of some happy event that caused me to change my mind, refresh my point of view, renew my sense of sharing and togetherness with the world.

Wrong wrong wrong.

I'm blogging because as miserable as I feel these days, as little hope as I sometimes have for the world in which we live, I have one thing to be thankful for.

I don't live in Detroit.

How could a city like Detroit get worse? It's almost hard to believe. But there are so many nuggets in this bizarre New York Times article -- who wrote this? why'd it get printed? does anyone in New York or anywhere in the world care anymore about Detroit? or do they just like to kick it when it's down -- that have to be shared, with anyone who knows, or might know.

Like: "80 percent of people die naked and 70 percent die in the toilet. That means most people die naked in the toilet. I can’t explain it."

Or: “White people kill themselves. Black people kill each other. Chinese people don’t die.”

Possibly the best: "It was the height of summer and people were supposed to be outside and killing each other, dropping dead from sunstroke, etc. Mr. Thomas wondered how he was going to feed his children the next week."

My god. What's happened to us?