Good evening. As the title of this post suggests, I rather forgot to think of something post on this non-exciting regular blog feature. Luckily, I just thought of something semi-decent.
First off, I just posted an amusing link on Facebook. Take one part the amazing Mad Men – set in New York. Then take those classic Mister Men and Little Miss books. Ka – BLAMMO! You get this, courtesy of some random UK website called The Poke. I got the link from one of my favorite websites, The Frisky.
So when I got back from my New York trip, I thought a lot about what New York used to be. The city used to be a symbol for crime, grime, grittiness, a mix of excess and poverty, and the “sex, drugs & rock and roll” aesthetic. Sure, now there are Starbucks on every corner, and it cost me exactly one arm and one leg to eat there, but in the 70s, 80s and even the early 90s, Manhattan was a totally different place (allegedly). I decided to investigate this through books, specifically those written in the 80s by a group of young writers dubbed “The (Literary) Brat Pack” by The Village Voice. This group is a trio of writers: Tama Janowitz, Jay McInerney, and – probably the most well-known – Bret Easton Ellis. So far I’ve read two Jay McInerney novels (Bright Lights, Big City and Story of My Life), and I’m working on Janowitz’s Slaves of New York. Given that I’m on my third of this “genre,” I’d say I’m really enjoying these books. The prose is very minimalist – a trait these writers are known for – with lots of insular investigations of sex, “urban angst,” money, and basically, what life was like then for young, impossibly hip twentysomethings. Oh, and all the characters seem to do, literally, mountains and mountains of coke. Sweet Jesus!!
On a final note regarding NYC – I just randomly entered “New York City” into the most amazing marketplace on the ‘Net – Etsy – and good grief, there’s a lotta nifty stuff. Seems to be mostly photography and map-inspired artwork and jewelry. This reminds me of those Toronto Subway buttons.