Monday, November 13, 2006

Perish the Thought

Yesterday I was standing in a subway platform waiting endlessly for the train to come and, as is increasingly common, I saw a huge, fat uglyass rat scurrying, or rather sauntering, down the rails.
New York rats are probably miffed that there is one human being per each seven of them. They must think we are encroaching upon their turf with increasing alacrity.
One of my neighbors, meanwhile, asks me if I have mice, because she does and she is on the 22nd floor! The diabolical construction taking place on Houston St is causing the rodent inhabitants of Noho to seek asylum chez nous. I'm not a happy camper.
When I moved to New York, it did not cross my mind that I would have rats as my neighbors. I know that all big cities have vermin but I thought that NY, being the self-appointed Center Of The Universe, could surely control its rat population. I was wrong.
It may be a symptom of getting older, but NYC is getting on my nerves more and more each day. I, who was for many years a staunch despiser of suburbia; I, who have lived in big, chaotic cities for most of my life and who loves treading asphalt, I'm almost ready to throw in the towel. And this scares me, because the prospect of living in a house in the middle of the woods where you need to travel a mile by car to get some milk is petrifying.
But New York is becoming way obnoxious.
• As I stood in the platform and saw the rat, I thought: Well, if I live in a house in the woods, I will come across deer and bears and racoons and all kinds of things that fly and buzz and spiders and maybe snakes. But not rats. It's, for the very first time in my life, a thought.
• The noise in this city has reached apocalyptic proportions. I'm always threatening to send Bloomberg a letter, but I swear there should be a serious campaign to reduce noise in this town. You can't hear yourself think. Restaurants are huge offenders. Has anybody ever thought of the concept of a quiet meal? Taxi cabs; my fantasy is to own a dart gun and shoot every driver that honks. Trucks are deafening. Construction noise is unbearable and relentless.
As I have said before, if I were mayor, I would discourage the use of motor vehicles as much as possible and would encourage the use of bicycles. The nuttiness of some of the bike advocates notwithstanding, NY is potentially a perfect place for bicycles as a primary mean of transportation. People who need to come into the city with their cars should pay a hefty toll, like they do in London. I am sick of the traffic and the noise.
• WTF with the building boom? How many people can afford 1 bedroom apartments that are almost a million dollars? And most of the new buildings look like shit!
• I didn't think I would ever say it, but the cutification of New York is starting to piss me off. I do not complain about the city being quite safe, (that I can walk home by myself in the wee hours is something I cherish) and more livable than ever, but there has to be a limit to pharmacy chains and nail salons. We now feel like a huge suburb.
• When are we ever going to be less filthy? When are people going to stop throwing garbage on the streets? When are we going to have better garbage collection services? Perhaps if we disposed of our garbage better we wouldn't be so inviting to rats.
I am cranky.
I'm thinking L.A., people. No, I have even caught myself thinking upstate. That's how bad it's gotten.

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