June 27, 2016

How to be happy in New York City.

Two friends walking with smartphones in Soho by John Althouse Cohen on 500px.com

I love New York because here I am in New York!

Self awareness, supported by the smart phone.

Photo by John Althouse Cohen.  Click on the photo for a larger version and click on the right arrow for additional photographs, showing people on the streets of New York who are not following this advice, not taking the perspective of the camera looking at themselves. They seem all to have a look of grim commitment to withstanding this thing that is New York. I lived in New York for 10 years when I was young, and I really identify with this woman. For a similar feeling embodied in a man, look at him.

18 comments:

traditionalguy said...

NYC folks cannot risk being stranger friendly like a small Farming Community does. Instead, they are serious and put on a persona that says I will survive. Until the smart phone selfie lets them share a friendliness with a safe group of followers who cannot get at them.

I Callahan said...

The girl on the left is quite pleasing on the eye...

Patrick said...

I bet the Professor doesn't wear a look like that very often in Madison!

buwaya puti said...

Cities like that are demographic sinks, as Cavalli Sforza explains, due to reduced fertility even if modern technology has reduced morbidity.
It is not a proper human environment.

Darcy said...

I see a lot of faces similar to that walking into GM Headquarters. I'm not sure the expressions are unique to New Yorkers. Cool, candid pics!

Virgil Hilts said...

A couple months back, some HD video footage was released of everyday life in NYC from 1993 (cannot remember if it was discussed here). A common reaction to people seeing it -- "there are no cell phones!" -- https://youtu.be/fT4lDU-QLUY

EDH said...

HAPPY?

All those oh! so trendy in their flapper and flair
Delinquent derelict, four walls and a square
Never should you worry about society
The best things in this life are never free
You treat this whole world to a cavalry rout
And when you've had enough of go, go, go and get out

Is everybody happy? Well are you ha-ha-ha-happy?
You get a live-in lover, never leave her alone
The lifestyle is impressive, and you've moved up a tone
Circulate in circles, leave the centre at home
And happy is this hero, never needing a throne

We're having a party-and everyone's welcome-
And if you've got no friends-I'm sure we'll invent some
It's things and then it's places
Not people and their faces

It's things and then it's places
Not people and their faces. And are you happy?

Don't go near the water till you learn how to swim
The parodies and prophecies, cataclysm
Probably a proverb, like blood from a stone
And happy is this hero, never needing a throne

Roughcoat said...

A common reaction to people seeing it -- "there are no cell phones!"

But lots of hats. Hoo-hah, are there ever a lot of hats. It's the Planet of People Wearing Hats.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'll bet that when guys call out to that girl Smile! or Have a nice day!...

...she does.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Not nearly as fabulous as Titus has led me to believe.

R. Chatt said...

Grim expressions. I forgot how dirty and crowded the streets are and isolated everyone appears. Summer is always the most grim and grimy and smelly for NYC. Maybe these are seasonal expressions. Mostly I've been looking at instagrams of the well to do luxuriating in rooftop bars and restaurants, not the ordinary people on the street straining to survive.

I just fantasized about drawings of NYC drawn with the new Pelikan pen and Althouse's cruelly neutral eye. Could be very amusing.

Bill Peschel said...

Posts like these are why I find the Daily Mail so annoying, when they show a celebrity frowning and associating it with the emotion they want to convey: "SEE TAYLOR SWIFT leaving Sabarr's thinking about JOE JONAS being ready to date again."

It could be gas that the person frown like that, or fear of getting hit by a car, or existential despair.

And I'd be frowning, too, if somebody was taking my picture on a public street.

Kyzernick said...

Wifey and I were in NYC two weekends ago for my uncle's gay wedding. It was a really great time. Unfortunately, I got bit by a damn spider while cleaning the basement the day before we left. By Sunday, our last morning in the city, my right arm just below the elbow had a swollen red patch the size of a postcard on it.
As luck would have it, the nearest clinic that would take my insurance was directly across from the Freedom Tower, now known as One World Trade. After getting the bite checked, wifey and I rode the elevator to the top of the building, took cheesy pics of the sights, and had a drink at the bar up top.
While walking through the city, to and fro from the hotel to the clinic to the tower and back (our hotel was only 8 or so blocks from the place), we encountered a lot of New Yorkers. The only differences I could notice was that they were mostly more hurried than I'm used to seeing, and skinnier too. Not always a healthy kind of skinny either. I'm from NY, but not the city. Albany is about as close, culturally, to Metro NYC as it is to Bangor, and Schenectady is just craptastic.
But the mess was incredible. Everywhere you looked was unfinished construction or demolition work, streets in shambles, impossible traffic snarls (we drove from IL, and the Holland Tunnel on the way out was a madhouse), and closed streets. Some wedding guests got dropped off 6 or more blocks from the event because so many streets were closed (that was also due to at least one clueless cabbie). Even the Freedom Tower's base looked like it was unfinished, although apparently that's just how it's supposed to look. Big cities aren't really my thing. Too crowded, too noisy, and too impersonal.

Richard Dolan said...

"I really identify with this woman. For a similar feeling embodied in a man, look at him."

OK. I looked. Both of them are just going about their business, not an activity that necessarily comes with its own special happy (or sad or anything else) face. Just centered in themselves, thinking about whatever while making sure not to get run over or banging into anyone else. If you think you know what these folks are "feeling," you're probably wrong.

It was nice to learn from K that the bar at the top of the Freedom Tower is open. (K, how did you like it?) Haven't tried it yet, but I used to enjoy taking out-of-town visitors to the old Windows on the World for a drink to give them a sense of the scale of NYC. They all seemed to enjoy it, even though it was a really touristy place to go.

William Chadwick said...

"OK. I looked. Both of them are just going about their business, not an activity that necessarily comes with its own special happy (or sad or anything else) face. Just centered in themselves, thinking about whatever while making sure not to get run over or banging into anyone else. If you think you know what these folks are "feeling," you're probably wrong."

As a New Yorker in spirit (alas, no longer in physical reality since I marooned myself in an urban-sprawly Sunbelt enclave of philistines ) I second what Mr. Dolan says.

Robert Cook said...

"NYC folks cannot risk being stranger friendly like a small Farming Community does. Instead, they are serious and put on a persona that says I will survive. Until the smart phone selfie lets them share a friendliness with a safe group of followers who cannot get at them."

Actually, NYC folks are generally quite friendly. We just generally don't want to be pestered by people who obviously want something from us, (hand-outs, signatures on petitions, donations to this or that organization, etc.).

Big Mike said...

The picture made me think of this prank. Notice that no one catches on until the model bends over at an ATM and a passerby realizes that she has a hole in her jeans.

Sydney said...

A lot of people tuned into their smart phones in those pictures. I noticed the same when I was in NYC a few months ago. Seems like the distraction would make them easy prey for muggers. Stay alert people!