“In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?”
– Mark Twain
In 2007 while in New York City I discovered a website called, Vanishing New York Blog Spot – A bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct.
The blog is still up and Jeremiah Moss continues to track the businesses being closed and buildings torn down because of gentrification. He’s also written a book called, “Vanishing New York: How a great city lost its soul.” One of the reviewers of his book wrote: “One of the most thorough and pugnacious chroniclers of New York’s blandification.”
Being from New York it’s been hard to see the changes. And now I find myself in a city that will likely go down the same path of hyper-gentrification. It’s a complicated issue because Porto needed the influx of money to fix itself up. I just wish there was a third way.
On Jeremiah’s blog there used to be a section of conversations overhead around the city. Here are a few of them I made note of eleven years ago.
Chick: Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?
Dude: Yeah, you tried to pack me in a suitcase once.
Chick: Oh, yeah! And you wouldn’t get in!
Chick erupts with nervous laughter.
– Uptown 6 train
Lady: Excuse me, but I’m looking for a book.
Store chick: And?
Lady: I don’t remember the title or author, but the cover is purple.
Store chick: Our purple books are downstairs.
Lady: They sent me up here.
Store chick: We’re sold out of purple books. You want something in a yellow?
– Barnes & Noble, Brooklyn Heights
Chick #1: I didn’t get into any of the colleges on the east coast I applied to. I’m so bummed.
Chick #2: But you got into Miami — that’s pretty cool.
Chick #1: But that’s not on the east coast. I’m going to have to get a passport and some crazy shots to go there.
– W 10th & Bleecker
Hipster girl #1: I bet she had a frontal lobotomy.
Hipster girl #2: Really? I was thinking she might be slightly autistic.
Hipster girl #1: Maybe she’s just really happy.
– Court & Warren, Brooklyn
Girl: Do you bite your nails?
Guy: No, my girlfriend does it for me.
– Spring & Thompson