3.21.2007

i heart, part 2: cliches

In the fairly inane piece in New York Magazine on things that categorically suck about London (which we have already dealt with), there is a page two: clichés about London that are not true. Okay, fine, I will take your word for it. But for every London cliché, there is a New York one that is just as ludicrous, except it is true. To wit: (London clichés in bold)

People wear tweed: Fashion in London is either aggressively contemporary (asymmetrical hair, $250 denim) or super-uptight (posh suits, cuff links, square-toe Euro shoes).
In New York, people wear black.

The kiddies can recite Shakespeare: London has its own elementary-education woes.
By the time they’re 14, New York kids are on coke and having better sex than you ever will.

The tastes are more sophisticated: Ugh. A walk down any “High Street” will prove otherwise.
New York tastes are robotically dictated by 4 Times Square.

All those cute red double-deckers and phone booths: The old Routemaster bus has mostly been retired (there are still double-decker buses, but not the old kind with a perch in back that riders can hop on and off from). Transit officials prefer superlong “Bendy Buses,” and phone booths are lined with postcards advertising sex services.
New York has all those neat yellow cabs and the brightlightsbigcity of Times Square. (which everyone hates, btw. I am also contractually obligated as a New York resident to point out here that tourists are fat, disproportionately blonde, and walk too slowly.)

The police go unarmed: In fact, it’s now common to see cops carrying assault rifles.
The NYPD is staffed largely by Jerry Orbach and Mariska Hargitay.

Can we lay this ridiculous rivalry to rest now? They are different cities. They have different feels. They are both fantastic (at least, I am assuming London is) but both have aspects that, were this a sitcom and the cities a ne'er-do-well older brother who lives over the garage, would cause us to cock our heads to the side and affectionately say "oh, not again!" while the studio audience did a laugh/awww hybrid. Okay, New York Magazine? Can we get over this now?

Thank you.

4 comments:

Marcin said...

Actually, it's not clear that London is particularly fantastic. It's like all governmental and societal norms are conspiring to keep the city as un-fantastic as they can, given the constraint that it is the biggest city in Europe, that it is in western Europe, and that it is the world's biggest financial centre.

a lady said...

jerry orbach's eyes, maybe.

those "donate your eyes 'cause jerry did" ads all over the trains are kind of creepy.

also: london ftw. the stereotypes are true, and that is why I loved living there.

Anonymous said...

Not that it wasn't a great post but... Jerry Orbach is dead. Died of cancer a few years ago. He is greatly missed, even if he did put Baby in a corner.

So, the streets of NYC are patrolled by Jesse L. Martin, one the gay guys from "RENT," and Mariska Hargitay.

helen said...

i do know that Jerry has passed on to the great 42nd street marquee in the sky.

that doesn't mean that in my fantasy world where i am declaring that mariska hargitay is a real-life cop (an argument in favor of getting raped if i ever heard one - hello trauma counselor), i can also pretend he is still among the alive and well.