(WRITER) Paul Austor_ Literature study
Were you changed by New York or do you change the New York? New York has been constantly changed. Whether it’s changed by the city, or the city is enforcing you to be fit with it, the city is changing even now. New York has money, spotlight, nostalgia to everyone. These aspects attract all these tourists and aliens to visit this city least once in their life. All these tourists have their own fantasy about New York’s luxurious multinational culture. But, in reality New York is one of the most dangerous city in the USA. In fact, USA is dangerous comparing the country where I came from. Strong spot light comes with a sharp shadow, and that’s New York City. “Only in New York”: Personal Experience Narrative, written by Cornelia Cody, shows how ordinary New Yorkers cope with the city. A New Yorker, the one must be experienced something related with crimes. New York City changed New Yorkers cynical, and this could be shown based on the New Yorkers’ stereotypical mood, such as depression, despair, and lonely.
City of Glass is a short story, written by Paul Auster. Quinn, a writer who lost his wife and child, eventually answered a phone call, which was supposed to connect “Paul Auster”, the investigator in NYC. Quinn, as a writer, decided to “be” an investigator. Peter Stillman, a tragic son of old “Peter Stillman” is a victim from the psycho father, who uses his son like a test mice for proving his theory of universal language (Auster).
An essay Black Out was written by James Goodman in 2003. In 13th of July, 1977 the city hits 25hours of blackout. During the blackout, there are huge contrast things happening in New York City. High class’s citizens enjoyed the night without light with a romantic candles. On the other hand, all these low-income citizens came out to the street and made a lot of problems. People looted items like going shopping, and an entire block of the buildings were burned down within 25 hours in Bushwick (Goodman).
The Old Neighbors, written by Jim Rasenberger in March 2003, is a short essay that New York Times published an article about stories of old people in New York. Jim illustrates variety his neighbors, who has experienced old school New York. He begins his article from a story of 108th street and north riverside’s neighborhood story to investigating his old apartment’s history and finish the story with his wonder of his imagination scene of future tenants’ curiosity of the building (Rasenberger).
Waiting to Exhale, written by Katherine Marsh in Jan 2002, is a story about claustrophobe. Katherine tells a story based on other claustrophobic people’s experience indirectly. In fact, Katherine shows her analysis of New York City claustrophobe circumstances in New York through a statics, peter Derrick’s quote subway, new york’s first official claustrophobe (Marsh).
New Yorkers are lonely. According to the part from the Only in New York , And It’s Funny!, Dana was experiencing being mistreated like a hooker from a 200lb guy, who wears a latex. In fact, Cornelia was living near prostitute area, where Dana was waiting. Without demands, there couldn’t be supply. At that era, these lonely male New Yorkers might visit the tenth avenue ever they felt empty to be treated like “Sugar daddy” (Cody).
Quinn felt lonely as well. His wife and his son died. He is alone, actually, he avoids human connections in order to get rid of the deep emotional pain. Again, he created his own pseudonym to hide his identity. According to the Chapter 1, New york was described like, “Labyrinth of endless steps, and no matter how far he walked, no matter how well he came to know it’s neighborhoods and streets, it always left him with the feeling of being lost” Quinn is lonely, in fact, he is a New Yorker (Auster).
Paul is lonely like Quinn, and it’s shown on the mood at Brooklyn Narcissus. “Drops on the train window wobble stream my trouble is …” Rainy night in the New York’s quite train is depressing. In fact, he is extremely lonely; he would like to exchange one’s flesh (body), which is holding his lovers in that train. His rhythm shows the patterns of everyday is a bit boring grey day – “Keep & Local stops before I sleep & Local stops before I sleep” Than, He finds a ship while the train is passing on Manhattan bridge “PACE O MIO DIO. Now, he hears a hallucination of waves below his lap against the piles, and the pier, where the ship will go to Mexico. It might refer, where he hopes to be. This poem shows the surrealistic emotional depression status of Blackburn (Daniel).
The stage of your feeling status after lonely, and depression, will be the despair. It might result you to try suicide. In a passage of Only in New York, we could gaze some of New Yorker’s extreme behavior. A guy is lying on a street, where the bloods are everywhere. The story begins with a guy who put his gun into his mouth and walking around the street. We don’t know, why, but we know it’s dangerous. Cops arrive, the crazy suicidal person point the gun at them. Eventually, cops shoot him down on his head. This is the city, where Karen’s car was parked on “Oh so safe neighborhood”- Park slope (Cody). A despaired or mentally ill person died in a day and once he used to be a New Yorker as well.
Again, these New Yorkers could be violent, when you give them despair such as 1977 blackout event. It was after 1973 financial status New York government almost collapsed there are no air conditionals, because the electricity is gone. People came out of their houses to wonder around. According to Good man, in this chaotic moment, gangs found this blackout as a chance. They robbed over five thousands pieces of tokens, which cost 5cent per a piece at the Halsey subway station (33) People were high right next to water fountains, and the evil dealers moved around actively. LSD, Thai sticks, angel dust, Hawaiian, and hash were selling like a candy from the candy shop. (26) At the end, all these despair of New Yorkers’ financial and human basic environmental issue during only 25 hours result chaos in New York in 1977.
In conclusion, New Yorkers stay in the city with conditions of Lonely, depression, and despair. In everyday, there are too many things happen in New York City in bad ways. Although all these New Yorkers have their own ways coping with these ridiculous happenings, you can’t argue that living under the emotional pressure isn’t a great thing. New York is a financial city; people come to this depression city for an opportunity. But, New Yorkers should aware that their city could be collapsed like 1974 based on the economy. Ironically, these characteristic of New Yorkers attracts outsiders like Martin Scorsese, and Francis Copolla made movie about New York City.
Auster, Paul. City of Glass, Los Angeles: Sun & Moon, 1985. Print
Cody, Cornelia. Only in New York: The New York City Personal Experience Narrative. No.2 ed Vol. 42. Indiana: Indiana UP, 2005. Print.
Goodman, James. Blackout. New York: North Point, 2003. Print. 20 Apr. 2015.
Nester, Daniel. “Brooklyn Narcissus.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Web. 27 Apr. 2015
Rasenberger, Jim. "The Old Neighbors." The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Mar. 2003. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.