for two years the boss has been predicting the return to the new york of the 70's, the new york of everyone's fears. the gritty, graffitti-covered subway car new york. the pickpocket, everyone down on their luck new york. the romantic, crumbling new york. not the new development new york.
yesterday it felt that way to me as i walked to meet jade at his studio. glancing down a side street, my eye was caught by a flame. and there, just as i had walked into a movie set (which, by the way, is a common occurance in new york and especially brooklyn) men stood huddled around a garbage can, fire leaping upward, warming their hands. but there was no camera crew, no tent of craft services food to walk through, no mega cords and pissy pa's to trip over. just a fire in a can at twilight.
two hours later, as a group of my friends climbed the subway stairs to fourteenth street, a man and a woman screamed at each other, threatening to call the cops and hurling insults. as we waded through the melee, half cringing for fear of catching a stray punch, the screaming woman wrapped her hands around a steel crossbeam that supported a large scaffold. she twisted it mightily as the joint weakened and we scurried more quickly by. she meant business. jade's friend muttered as we chuckled with near fiendish delight, "it's about to get real old new york in here."