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15 September 2011

In NYC

As the title suggests, I'm currently in NYC.  Yesterday I attended OOOIII, and today I'm going to a panel discussion between Levi Bryant, Graham Harman, and Jane Bennett at the CUNY Grad Center.  So far it's been a really interesting time, and I've met a lot of good people - including Levi and Tim Morton.  I'll talk more about that later, but for now I want to say something about this city.

What astonishes me about NYC is how different it is from DC.  It's so much more chaotic, dirty, unique and crazy compared to DC.  DC gives the feeling of being planned from above like De Certeau's city.  This city has more of a felling of being built from below - as if the subway rats emerge every night and put it all together when we're asleep.  There's a lot more mixing going on here - different lifestyles, different classes, different types of businesses and buildings.  It's truly a heterogeneous landscape, whereas DC feels much less so.  What that means is that for visitors, DC is accessible, and easy to digest.  Whereas NYC seems confusing and scary.  But I think it also means that there's a kind of vibrant and creative quality to NYC, where DC is much more conservative, and, frankly, dull.  None of this is to say that I would ever live in NYC - I still prefer the countryside or a small town, but as cities go, NYC is probably the coolest I've ever been to.

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