May 2, 2020

"Jenzeers."

I turned on the car radio and CNN was talking about "Jenzeers." Jenzeers, in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown, were going to decide whether to abandon New York City and leave it hurting for population and economic vigor.

Jenzeers... Jenzeers... who the hell are Jenzeers?
Gen Z-ers.

The story I was hearing on the satellite radio corresponds to this text news report at CNN.com: "Coronavirus is making some people rethink where they want to live":
After years of growth, New York City's population had started to slowly decline in 2017. Chicago and Los Angeles also saw their populations dip in recent years as the economy picked up in the suburbs and elsewhere. Other big cities have seen growth virtually stagnate.

"It's not just a New York thing," says William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. "It's a kind of softening of growth among cities all over the country.... People have always come back to cities during some of the biggest disasters we've had in our history. ... When we look ahead in the next year or two, I'm not so concerned that we're going to see decline in city populations long-term"...

Immediately after the Great Recession, millennials flocked into cities and spurred a period of growth and revitalization. And in the aftermath of this unfolding economic crisis, Frey says Generation Z could take a similar tack.... "If they follow in the footsteps of millennials during a similarly dim period, they could help invigorate city growth -- especially if opportunities dry up elsewhere," Frey wrote in a recent analysis on the Brookings website....

Lifelong New Yorker ChloĆ© Jo Davis never imagined leaving her beloved city -- until now. Davis and her husband were already used to working from home, but weeks spent cramped inside their rented two-bedroom apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side -- homeschooling their three young sons and caring for four rescue pets -- have changed her calculation.... 
Four rescue pets... that got me. They had 5 human beings in a 2-bedroom apartment and they bring in 4 pets. That's got to be either dogs or cats, don't you think? There aren't rescue goldfish or rescue gerbils. We're talking about sizable mammals that have the run of the place and shed hair and vomit and let you know how they feel.

Anyway... city life. I've done it myself... done NYC for about 11 years of my life. I like it, but adding children — more than one — and throwing pets on top... that already makes it hard to breathe. And then you throw in a dangerous respiratory disease... At some point you've got to want out, and if the job you have is one you do from home — you and your mate.... You're so free to leave.

And yet people don't leave. I understand how some folks are about New York. Every place else seems too not New York to be acceptable. I lived in New York City because I married a person who came from New York and his preference for the place was so overwhelming compared to anything I in my head. I didn't want to go back to Delaware or New Jersey. My ideas were vague — drifting over the general landscape like a line in a Johnny Rivers song ("She wants to live in the Rockies/She says that's where we'll find peace...") — so of course, New York won.

83 comments:

rhhardin said...

Simple Solution (tm) and a box of kleenex takes care of pet mess easily. If it's constant, you might want to reevaluate the pet diet.

h said...

My son in another country got a rescue dog to have a legitimate excuse to be on the streets during the "lockdown". Where I live (in the DC suburbs) the lockdown was never that serious. "Stay at home except for necessary trips," but "we encourage people to continue to exercise" and "walking pets are necessary trips". And in fact there was no enforcement other than self-enforcement of proscribed activities like drives in the countryside. Only you couldn't have a destination (even stop for a cup of coffee).

traditionalguy said...

And a Bad Orange Man shall lead them by leaving for DC and Palm Beach. But then he was under constant surveillance in NYC by Obama’s Special Agents , and the Genzers are finally waking up to Sanctuary City Hell.

traditionalguy said...

Big Apple Gulags are still Gulags.

RigelDog said...

We live on the outskirts of Philadelphia in a pleasant single family home neighborhood that's next to a huge hilly, wooded nature preserve. We raised our kids here and I personally needed the solace of nature. Now I'm early retired and husband struggles with the daily long commute into the city. The idea of us selling our house and moving into a city apartment that is walking distance from his office until he retires in 5 or so years really intrigues me. But you know what stops me? The dog. The wonderful big goofy dog that we have; the dog who gets let out into the big fenced yard any time he wants, who gets walked regularly in the woods a block away. If we lived downtown, that would mean having to walk the dog 5 times a day, on sidewalks, in all kinds of weather. The horror! I have to think that the woman mentioned in the article with the kids and the pets has cats. Maybe one or two small dogs at most.

FleetUSA said...

I've said for some time (years) that with cable, Fedex, UPS, etc. many jobs can be done anywhere in the developed world. Pick your haven.

Certainly many can't be but you have to think about it.

Many jobs are portable, e.g. doctors and nurses too.

Wilbur said...

My heart bleeds for our friends from Noo Yawk.

I've lived and worked in Miami-Dade and Broward County for 34 years. Believe it, I got a belly full of them and their condescension for anything not from The Big Apple.

I don't prejudge anyone, or at least try not to do so. But when I see that behavior exhibited, I'm repelled.

Lucien said...

What idiots — this year there will be a bunch of rent-controlled apartments opening up, and a lot belonged to old people who didn’t trash them.

Fernandinande said...

>This is the only google reference to jenzeers which isn't based on your post, and it says -
Currency pair usdchf
Bid/Ask ask
Broker AMarkets (AForex)
Start date 11/10/2015
Start exchange rate 1.58
Volume* 58.00
...etc...

Ken B said...

The superiority of “zed” manifests itself.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

"We're talking about sizable mammals that have the run of the place and shed hair and vomit and let you know how they feel."

Yes!
If you own 3 or more pets, you are not allowed to have nice things.

Birkel said...

Detroit is on Line 1.
Please pick up the white courtesy phone.

bagoh20 said...

Everything was really going extremely well. We had an incredibly vibrant economy that was lifting everyone who wanted to work, we finally were reigning in China. Iran and its toadies were on the ropes, and we were sitting uniquely well in the world. Then we succumbed to panic and fear and resorted to the age old mistakes it always leads to: authoritarianism and cowardice. We blew the best opportunity of our lives to do what everyone claims counts the most: make the world a better place. We sacrificed it for a tiny expectation of safety that will in the end, add up to nothing special. So many jumped right on that train without a second thought. That's why making the world a better place is so hard - courage is the rarest human quality.

Balfegor said...

For me, pretty much all the things I find appealing about New York -- good restaurants, interesting shops carrying all sorts of goods, convenient public transit, the symphony, museums, etc. -- aren't unique to New York at all. Every major world city has them, and New York isn't even particularly good at them in comparison, at least along the metrics I care about (other than the Met, which is truly world class). Add to that the pervasive filth and squalor, even under the best years of Bloombergian authoritarian governance, and I don't really get the appeal. That said, if you want to get the full urban experience, I don't think any other cities in the US come close. So for people who, like me, strongly prefer cities to suburbs or the country, but unlike me, prefer to remain in the US, New York's basically it -- no other viable options.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Jenzer = generation Z

Butkus51 said...

Who listens to CNN on the radio? Thats pretty f'd up.

David Begley said...

Ann:

Aren’t you a Badger now? You were born to be a Badger. Wisconsin is your home and Madison suits you the best.

David Begley said...

As for me, I’d never move from Omaha. As Warren Buffett recently said, he wouldn’t move across the Missouri River to Iowa even if there was no state income tax.

Lurker21 said...

But older people are said to be selling off their big homes in the suburbs and retiring to cities with the money. The coronavirus could put a damper on that. Maybe the move will be to smaller cities and towns, rather than to the giant metropolises/metropoleis/metropoles/metropoli/metropolizes.

You may have discovered a trend early. Strauss and Howe - the Generations gurus wanted to see the millennials as America's saviors. That's why they called them "millennials," a name associated with hope and redemption. Today's wannabe gurus see that it may not work out well with the millenials, so they could be putting their money on the next generation.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There’s a Goldfish Rescue of Wisconsin on Facebook.

gilbar said...

i think that it should be spelt "Jenziers"
Jenzeers seems like it would be pronounced "Gen-zers"
it should be a long e (i think it's called)

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There’s a Goldfish Rescue of Wisconsin on Facebook.

walter said...

Gen Xi

bagoh20 said...

When they realize what we did, the JenZers are going to hate the Boomers with a passion.

wild chicken said...

People are idiots about keeping multiple big dogs. Even in the burbs, though the new houses are close together and often have no fenced yard.

The adults are as childish about pets as their kids.

Muh kitties, now....

gilbar said...

bagoh20 said...
When they realize what we did, the JenZers are going to hate the Boomers with a passion


When they realize what we did, the JenZiers hate the Boomers with a passion.
fify!

They aren't Going To... They ALREADY DO

Wince said...

Even though they wear masks and say they are from "Parts Unknown," we know based on their policies that de Blasio and Cuomo are...

The Executioners I & II

chuckR said...

I'm reminded of a line in a novel from 40 years ago. A City-dwelling immigrant says to another, New York is like a classy broad. Beautifully made up. Tasteful jewelry. Well-dressed and accessorized. Just one problem: she forgot to wipe her ass before she left the apartment.
As to local and state response, the great Robert Conquest's third law of politics applies. 'The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.' Eventually, there comes a Black Swan event - like the combination of the Wuhan Virus and the NYC super-spreader - the MTA system. Even The NewYorker magazine has picked up on this in a critical comparison of WA vs NYS and NYC political leadership.

Inga said...

That style of crowded living sounds like torture to me. I’ve been a Wisconsin girl for the vast majority of my life, my daughter who lives in CA can’t wait to get back to the Great Lakes area. My other daughters who live in Wisconsin bitch about the long cold winters, but my CA daughter used to say the same thing and now longs for the change of season, the spring greens, the golden autumns, open skies, blue waters of the many lakes. Milwaukee has enough of city life when one wants it. Madison has the typical university town/ Capital city offerings, plus natural beauty.

It’s no wonder anyone would leave NYC for what this area offers.

MayBee said...

Balfegor - Chicago.

RNB said...

I think city-dwellers anywhere in the U.S. look down on people who don't live as they do. I recall a conversation with an ITP (Inside the Perimeter -- i.e., I-285) Atlanta actor about a state program to promote artistic activity in communities in the metropolitan area, but not ITP, the object being to make Georgia more culturally attractive to young people. At one point, he said, "Yeah, but once you get outside the Perimeter, you're in -- [Genteel sneer] -- Georgia."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think people should live where they like.....and deal with the consequences. Don't expect the rest of the world to correct your decisions if they turn out to have been bad.

This goes for me as well. I live in the countryside. Far far far away from any big urban area. This is our choice and we deal with the inconveniences. Some minor. Some major.

*Less medical care available.

*Expensive local purchasing. Groceries and other items are 50 to 100% more.

*Poor road care, outside of State or Federal roads. Need your road plowed..too bad. Do it yourself. Pot holes....yeah...we'll get to that someday.

*Knowing that we are last on the list of things that need to get done.

*Few to no government services (maybe that is a plus).

*Far away from shopping for minor and especially major purchases, appliances, auto, furniture.

*Less "cultural" opportunities like plays, concerts, museums, good restaurants.

My choice. We don't expect the rest of the world to change for us or want to live the way we do. To us, the positives of rural living outweigh the negatives.

If people want to live in congested areas like NYC or SF, they should. I don't understand the lure. But that is me...not them. To each their own.

What is objectionable is all places and all people being treated as if they live in NYC. Unreasonable rules for rural areas and rules that make sense in San Francisco. Less local control and a centralized big government that does one size fits all. The revolt right now over "sheltering in place" is showing people that this one size doesn't make sense. If the one good thing that comes out of Covid lockdowns is a return to LOCAL control....that would be great.

daskol said...

With the announcement that the city will for the first time shutter subways overnight for deep cleaning and homeless encampment removal, there is yet another wave of stories of the destruction of NYC and its way of life. Being a NYer, from a family of them and raising a family of them, although in more comfort (and space) than most previous generations enjoyed, and also being pretty long NYC real-estate, I've got to acknowledge a deep bias for NYC ways and lifestyle (even though I never thought I'd end up back here, knowing what a grind professional life was here, but chased a girlfriend, now a wife, after college and got trapped by my roots). Why is this plague different from any other? Because we ordered a massive shutdown? Are we going to look at one another as disgusting sources of microscopic death forever, or will we get over this induced response? I think germaphobia is rare and difficult to induce except perhaps for a short time, or else we would not have seen urbanization on the scale we have over the preceding millennia. I'm betting that, like nature in Jurassic Park, the urban jungle will also find a way to regenerate, and quickly.

Kathryn51 said...

Inga,when DH and I visited Madison 4 years ago (July) I said that I could easily live there. It's quite a bit like our native Seattle in terms of water and greenery. The Saturday market is a non-tourist version of the Pike Place Market. However the politics are just as bad so probably not worth contemplating. But ...Madison is a beautiful city and I'm not surprised that Meadehouse didn't leave after searching for alternates.

daskol said...

And beautiful late spring weather today means that the NYC shutdown is effectively over, at least temporarily. I don't think corporations are gong to start herding their employees into offices anytime soon, but anybody running a shop, a restaurant or a nail or hair salon, let alone private practice phsyicians and dentists, are all itching to get back to business.

Roughcoat said...

courage is the rarest human quality.

No. Courage is actually, blessedly, quite common (in the sense that it is often manifested).

It's common sense that is rare.

Bob Smith said...

“When they realize what we did, the JenZers are going to hate the Boomers with a passion“

This pre-boomer watched you do it. And to cries of “lighten up Dude” Or “Chill out” tried to warn you.

daskol said...

Here's an idea for revenge against the boomers: saddle them with zero interest rates on their savings, and either force their assets into risky equities to inflate the asset price bubble, or let them eat ramen. Or that's sorta been the deal already for a while, and the other side of the barbell is younger folks saddled with non dischargeable student debt to prop up the private capital firms masquerading as universities so their enormous endowments can keep risk asset prices nicely inflated. I don't know why people are trying to foment some sort of inter-generational squabble here. There's enough ass-fucking going around for everyone.

chuck said...

As for me, I’d never move from Omaha.

I've driven through a couple of times and always found it attractive. If I wasn't looking for warm weather it would be on the list.

Roughcoat said...

Millennials are dumber than stumps. In this they remind me of me (a Boomer) when I was their age. Except we boomers were better educated. And we worked harder. And were tougher.

Temujin said...

People have been leaving our larger metro areas for a few years now. Even in the last years of the Obama administration, when his team of planners were hyping the benefits of denser planning. As they saw it, the way to save energy is to pack people into the cities where they won't drive, they'll use public transportation, and they'll live in one building for dozens of families, towering up, instead of single family homes spread out (like the suburbs).

What we were told then as the 'good' was already being dismissed by all except for Millennials and Gen Zers. The exceptions to people leaving New York was the rebirth and 'hotness' of Brooklyn. But others in the young demos also found new havens in Seattle, Austin, and Nashville. Now Seattle has gone the way of San Francisco- too expensive for families, or anyone not getting a tech salary. Austin has taken on the worst aspects of San Francisco, without the charm. And Nashville? Well...we'll see what happens there. But- the move has been away from the Northeast to the Southeast. Away from California to Texas, Washington, and Idaho. There will be no clamoring to live in an economically inflated city, with poor sanitation and crowded everything once people start having families. And those entering middle age and up? They'll keep moving away from these cities.

It'll cycle back at some point, but the cities will have to clean up their act- politically and economically. That won't happen quickly when most of these cities have had a one-party rule for anywhere from 30-80 years.

Bruce Hayden said...

I’m with DBQ here. I see no allure to living in a big city. I would say the worst of them all is NYC, but with the violence, Chicago may have overtaken it at the bottom of my list. Groceries are higher, but not obnoxiously so. And we get out of town every, other week for a shopping trip. And then there is Amazon Prime.

Roughcoat said...

As several of the young-than-Boomer commenters have demonstrated here: you guys blame everything, all your troubles, on Boomers. You whine incessantly. You play the victim. Boo-hoo, woe is you. You don't know nuthin'. I work with college kids, at the University of Chicago. Supposedly the smartest of the smart, the elite. They're dumber than stumps.

Inga said...

“However the politics are just as bad so probably not worth contemplating.”

You know the old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’m betting that the politics of Madison isn’t as overly offensive to Althouse as you might think.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

forget the "Jenzeers" from NYC--

Kramer's idea from the Big Allple was better

Fernandinande said...

"Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt." -- Book III of Odes, Horace, circa 20 BC

Roughcoat said...

I'm a Chicago Irish/German kid. I used to love Chicago. I still love the old Chicago: the predominantly white ethnic Chicago. You can still find the old Chicago in the white ethnic neighborhoods, and I love those. But that's just one-third of Chicago. The other two-thirds are mainly black and latino, and they have collectively ruined, or are in the process of ruining, the city. You take your life in your hands just driving through the black and Latino communities. I speak the truth, sorry about that. It's not my fault. And, in the interests of fairness, it's fair to say that it was (and to an extent continues to be) white ethnic Democrat politicians who have ruined the city and the state. But it isn't white ethnic Democrat politicians who are shooting up neighborhoods or attacking people in Chicago's still-beautiful parks which have become no-go zones because they're so dangerous. Now I live in northwest Indian, as of April 1. Because I still love the Midwest.

Roughcoat said...

Indiana not Indian.

Unknown said...

This has been true forever that adjacent generations think the other one is either naive or unenlightened.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"If they follow in the footsteps of millennials during a similarly dim period, they could help invigorate city growth -- especially if opportunities dry up elsewhere,"

Why would they do this? Millennials and Gen Xer's didn't follow in the footsteps of the Boomers.

Tomcc said...

I grew up in the suburbs in a large-ish house on an acre of land. Two of my best friends in high school were also suburban kids. When they settled down in their 20's, they both bought houses in the city, while I bought in the suburbs. I like having a little "elbow room". They like the convenience.
Kaathryn51: I often tell folks that the advantage to living in the PNW is that, if you like snow, you can drive to it. (I grew up in Pittsburgh)

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Roughcoat said...

As several of the young-than-Boomer commenters have demonstrated here: you guys blame everything, all your troubles, on Boomers. You whine incessantly.

Boomers blamed the world's troubles on the Greatest Generation.

Everything old is new again!!!!!

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Prediction: The NYT will soon be filled with weepy stories of Millennials who want to move out to Connecticut because of COVID, but got in over their heads gentrifying a rat trap in Brooklyn that they can't sell because the Gen Zer's are opting out of urban living.

Ann Althouse said...

I spelled it as it was pronounced on the radio.

Rhymes with:

Ten beers
Hen fears
Ken jeers
Zen years

Temujin said...

Roughcoat- I share your love of Chicago...as it was, not as it is. And I'm a native Detroiter. Spent a ton of time over the years working and playing in Chicago. It was my favorite city in the US.

I miss the Chicago it was.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

There's enough ass-fucking going around for everyone.

Truer words have rarely been spoken.

Will N said...

Four college aged young men in my acquaintance are celebrating the end of the school year by going camping. They are in Michigan, but these GenZeers have opted for the great outdoors in......free-er South Dakota.

ALP said...

I have always had issues with the idea of being 'in love' with a city. To me, seems very limiting. You are rooted in place. Never understood it especially in terms of urban environments. You also get 'hurt' when the city you were "in love with" changes on you. Rural is different - I can see being attached to years of work on a garden or orchard. You put work into it and it is evidence of your creativity and hard work.

This girl here predicts population decline in the top US cities and growth in mid-size cities. Several months ago the NYT (or was it WSJ?) ran an article about how 'your parents post-grad financial/life advice is out of date'. Most memorable was the advice to re-think the whole "head for the big coastal city after graduation" plan due to high cost of living. The increase in working from home will drive this as well.

My work involves a long public transporation* commute from Pierce County into Seattle. Getting FOUR HOURS a day back each work day is incredible. I have already warned my employer that they will have to drive the 38 miles to my home to come get me if they want me to return physically. Shit we could move even farther out. US population is going to *spread out* as a consequence of this.

When I was subjected to urban planning ideas years back, I'll never forget reading a journal article that included this: "Despite being told urban living is more sustainable, U.S. citizens insist on moving to the suburbs whenever they can." I threw the (hard copy) article across the room it irritated me so much.

gilbar said...

Ann Althouse said...
I spelled it as it was pronounced on the radio.


Sorry, Professor; i'd Never heard it pronounced like that... And Assumed
I guess i made a mule of myself!

daskol said...

I guess "we are all New Yorkers" works way better metaphorically than when put into practice.

Nichevo said...


rhhardin said...
Simple Solution (tm) and a box of kleenex takes care of pet mess easily. If it's constant, you might want to reevaluate the pet diet.

5/2/20, 10:25 AM


No living human enters your home except your victims so complaints about the smell are probably not a big deal for you.

Spiros said...

If Thomas Bayes takes on renewed importance, why not Thomas Malthus? Covid 19 will not cause a sudden and massive drop in our population. Not in New York City or anywhere in the United States. But the threat of famine and plague in Africa is very real. Are these people heading over an invisible cliff? Will the Africans (or Indians) experience the abrupt imposition of a Malthusian equilibrium? And what are Jenzeers going to do about it? The kids go about their activism through virtue signaling on social media and call-out culture. We don't need that junk. We need people to do good work. Pick up a soup ladle and shut up.

Paul Zrimsek said...

They're the people who get their news from al-Jenzeera.

Michael K said...

I miss the Chicago it was.

I grew up there and miss it, too.

FleetUSA said...

Just thinking the people with 3 kids and multiple rescue pets only have 2 bedrooms BUT they may have a kitchen (not a kitchenette), a dining room, a living room, and maybe even a study.

2 bedrooms doesn't tell the whole story. Pre-Wuhan they did alright too. So maybe more room than portrayed.

rcocean said...

Anything that keeps New Yorkers in NYC is a good thing. In any case, talking about current NYC without talking about the demographics is absurd. 2020 NYC bears no relationship to a Woody Allen movie.

wildswan said...

It was called "shelter in place" but actually millions left their places - telecommuting, home schooling, on-line college, no sports, living in their second home outside the city. Millions were sheltering out of their places and the jenzeers are the ones who might change the most because of all the new ways of living they tried. And there are others who we relied on to keep on working - their social position has altered as their work became visible and essential. And then there will be the differences between the inhabitants of Karenistan and the Free States as restrictions lift or are intensified. And covid will be back in the fall along with regular flu.

I feel that it isn't covid any more that's making changes but rather it's the failing of social glue. There was social glue that was old and dried out and suddenly events sheared across the various boxes the glue was holding in place and the sides fell away and people found themselves out of where they were and in another place. They want to go back to normal ("Hoist up the John B sails/See how the mainsail sets/ Send for the captain ashore/ I want to go home/Please let me go home.") but during the time away from normal they haven't been just sitting in a shelterinplace like abandoned dolls, or Schrodinger's cat waiting for a physicist from .gov to say what happened to it. Something new will come back with them.

Ann Althouse said...

“ Sorry, Professor; i'd Never heard it pronounced like that... ”

Me neither. That’s why I thought it was bloggable.

Amadeus 48 said...

I have lived in Chicago for 50 years. If you don’t get what Roughcoat and Michael K said about the city, read Mike Royko’s book about Mayor Richard J. Daley, Boss. It captures the old ethnic Chicago beautifully, and it is full of Chicago characters such as Jacob Arvey, Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, Paddy Bauler, Bathhouse John Coughlin and Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna, Mayor Martin Kennelly, Adlai Stevenson II, Sen. Paul Douglas, and “Tubbo” Gilbert, the world’s richest cop.

That Chicago is long gone, and it isn’t coming back. Today we have grifters, race hustlers, and goo-goos. They are all third rate. They have none of Richard Daley’s pride in the city. His son, Richard M. Daley, was also mayor for almost a quarter of a century. He felt it, too. But now, not so much. The newspapers are worthless, the local TV news stations have packed up their investigative units, and the corporate headquarters have gone to Texas and California. Chicago was the great American city of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is washed up today.

Howard said...

Yes, and country people look down on City slickers all the time. They don't have no common sense they couldn't find they own ass with both hands you can't get theya from hea

Howard said...

Roughcoat: The millennials have volunteered to fight for 20 years of terror wars that were started by the great boomer generation. I am surprised that a military veteran like yourself would fail to recognize and honor millennial bravery and sacrifice.

Scott said...

Can you imagine what that apartment smells like?

Roughcoat said...

Howard:

I'm not a military veteran. I'm a civilian who has worked with the military.

Millennials serving in the military have my respect. Millennial who trash Boomers don't.

Richard Dolan said...

Brooklyn was lovely today. Lots of people in the park along the river ( not actually a river but whatever). Most doing the mask-thing but many declining to participate in that little drama. The distancing thing seemed to appeal to the large majority and was mostly observed. Ran into some friends in the park and had a nice time catching up.

So many up-thread talk about NYC from the tourist perspective-- restaurants, museums, cultural venues, and all that. That's all here, and it's terrific (especially the music and opera). But that's not what makes NYC such a pleasant place to live. It's a city of neighborhoods (very much so outside Manhattan) where you make connections like anywhere else. The folks at your local gym or restaurants get to know you, same with the cleaners and small groceries and all the rest. You don't always know each other's name but that's fine. If you want to be left alone or to keep your distance, people respect that too. The people you meet are from everywhere and every conceivable background. Some are interesting and open, some are jerks and some think you're a jerk. OK, no problem. Like anything else, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. But no matter what your interests or talents, it's not hard to find various communities and social sets that offer a very fulfilling way to live.

When I moved to NYC, I did so with great reluctance, for all the concerns talked about up-thread (crime ridden, filthy, expensive, cramped, obnoxious). Plus it was the home of the hated Yankees. But I had a good job offer and thought I would stay for a few years and then hightail it to some better place. That was 45 years ago. Haven't found any better place and don't expect to be leaving anytime soon. Still can't bring myself to be a Yankees fan, though.

NYC is not for everyone but it's not just or even mostly the tourist-NYC people have in mind when they try to imagine what it's like to live here. If urban living is your thing, it's a great place to live.

Roughcoat said...

Amadeus:

Concur with everything you said.

As Will Dannaher said to Sean Thornton: "The aulde days are gone forever. *sniff*

Vestigial forms of Chicago survive in certain neighborhoods: Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, Bridgeport/Canaryville, the Northwest Side, Hegewisch, etc. But not for long. When my generation is gone the Old Chicago will be gone. The kids are game, but they really don't get it. They don't really know the Chicago way. They don't understand. They don't have the sensibilities. They'll never had them. To have them, you had to grow up with them. I still work in Chicago. I commute one hour from my new home in Indiana to my job on the South Side. I still hang out at certain Irish pubs. But it's like watching something you love die. It's sad.

The best thing ever written about Chicago is the Chicago chapter in Norman Mailer's "Miami and the Siege of Chicago." Mailer called Chicago "the last great American city." At the time he wrote that, it was.

Titus said...

I am from a flyover rural state and fled at the age of 17. Now I live in a fab expensive city on the coast where it is extremely expensive and I love it. I would rather live in a million dollar 1200 square loft than a big home with a lawn for 300k in a less than desirable locale in the middle of the country. Go Boston. I am in Madison now for a funeral. Returning to fab world tomorrow.

Roughcoat said...

For me the inflection point in Chicago's ongoing slow-motion degringolade was the turning of the Marquette Park neighborhood. This happened in the late 1990s or early 2000s, I can't quite recall when exactly. For Michael K the inflection point might be the turning of South Shore or Englewood in the 70s, but for me it was Marquette Park. That was a beautiful park, as big and beautiful as Lincoln Park up north. The neighborhood was Irish and Lithuanian; e.g., one of its favorite sons, actor John C. Reilly, grew up there, the son of a Mick father and a Lugan mother. My pals and I used to do "Death Marches" down 63rd and then South Kedzie. Stopping at every Irish pub along the way -- there were many -- for a drink or two or three. We knew all the bartenders and owners and they knew us. We'd finish up the night at the legendary 6511 Club on S. Kedzie, one block north of the park. What a place that was. Entering it was stepping through a time portal and emerging into a pub in 1930s Mayo. On any given night it was packed with ancient Irishmen, cops, IRA volunteers who had been told to leave Ireland or else, and assorted genuine tough guys, madmen, tradesmen, criminals, and pretty Irish girls. The accents were as thick as the Guinness pints they poured, varying between the West of Ireland and pure South Side Chicagoese. There was lots of music, the singing of rebel songs, the playing of uhilean pipes and borans and tin whistles, the whole nine yards. People would talk talk talk, telling stories, lies, and tall tales. Official closing time was 3:00 am but it never closed on time even (especially!) when cops were in attendance. We knew the owner and the bartenders and there were nights we didn't leave until dawn.

And then the neighborhood turned. It happened suddenly, seemingly overnight, but actually over the course of several months. One day, just for something to do, my Irish immigrant friend and I drover around the neighborhood counting the for sale signs. We stopped counting about when we reached 300.

And that, as they say, was that.

Gone forever. Sad.

DavidUW said...

I spent until this virus, 1/3 of my time in New York plus or minus trips to Boston and DC. I’ve been to pretty much every big and a lot of medium sized cities. The fact is that good restaurants and coffee and “culture” is everywhere.

And for every New Yorker who talks broadway or whatever, 1) seriously how often do you go 2) theater in Chicago is better.
Yeah the New York museums are nice. So is the Getty in LA.

Energy, blah blah. I get that. But admit what you like then are crowds. All the other amenities are all over cities in the USA.

And I share all of the feelings about Chicago. It saddens me. Physically it’s the best US city. But the neighbors were awesome. Roscoe village. Old St Ben. Lincoln square. Not Lincoln park.



DavidUW said...

Oh and seriously. NY. The garbage. And scaffolding.

hstad said...

AA - I've been saying this for sometime. But you keep certain comments off the radar screen, very much like the NY Times, your favorite go to propoganda source. Cities in a panic will be first to be destroyed cause they depend on the supply chain which only lasts less then a week. Decentralization for all societies is the way to go, maybe the Internet will help, hope so. If not - the 'Malthus'theory will be proven correct.

JAORE said...

Our two mutts are "no shoes, no shirt, no service" dogs.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Those rescues may be rats, given It's NYC.

furious_a said...

CNN are Gen Xi’ers.