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New York

September 12, 2010

Kim posted this yesterday, adding “In honor of what we made it through nine years ago. Thanks, New York.”
Yes. absolutely.

“…By rights, New York should have destroyed itself long ago, from panic or fire or rioting or failure of some vital supply line in its circulatory system or from some deep labrynthine short circuit. Long ago the city should have experienced an insoluble traffic snarl at some impossible bottleneck. It should have perished of hunger when food lines failed for a few days. It should have been wiped out by a plague starting in its slums or carried in by ships’ rats. It should have been overwhelmed by the sea that licks at it on every side. The workers in its myriad cells should have succumbed to nerves…It should have been touched in the head by the August heat and gone off its rocker.

“Mass hysteria is a terrible force, yet New Yorkers seem always to escape it by some tiny margin; they sit in stalled subways without claustrophobia, they extricate themselves from panic situations by some lucky wisecrak, they meet confusion and congestion with patience and grit — a sort of perpetual muddling through. Every facility is inadequate — the hospitals and schools and playgroudns are overcrowded, the express highways are feverish, the unimproved highways and bridges are bottlenecks; there is not enough air and not enough light, and there is usually either too much heat or too little.

“But the city makes up for its hazards and its deficiencies by supplying its citizens with massive doses of a supplementary vitamin — the sense of belonging to something unique, cosmopolitain, mighty and unparalelled.”

— E. B. White, Here Is New York, 1949

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