I’ll Take Manhattan, the Bronx & Staten Island, Too


While some people dream of summer picnics of peaches & cream, sun-brewed tea, & Ashleigh Wilkes fanning their corseted decolletage with magnolia blossoms…(Ollie, you’re such an unabashed romantic)


I prefer to dream of apples.  One Apple to be precise – the BIG one.

You can keep your cotillions and mint juleps… I’ll take my summer vacation hot, humid, with just a hint of eau d’sewer. New York City here I come. 

Full disclosure – I am a native of that other American city. The one lacking in any semblance of art, culture or literature. The spray-on glitter to NYC’s grit.  The candy-colored terricloth tracksuit to NYC’s leather motorcycle jacket. The Pinkberry to NYC’s street meat.

I’ll be the first to defend Los Angeles: (“Hardened New Yorker, you’re just bitter because I’m tan and happy all the time.  Since I wish not to harbor your toxicity, I forgive you and your pain body“). But when I get down to it, what I love about New York is that it just…is.  Unapologetically, without tinted moisturizer or lipgloss, without sugar-free chocolate sprinkles or perky nipple inserts.  It’s the authenticity that I love.

I want to ditch my air-conditioned SUV with stereo sound and on-star navigation for a smelly, crowded street in New York City. It’s those crazy people just livin’ as they are that make me want to blend in.  My natural Angelino inclination is to try to dress, act, morph into a New Yorker when I’m there. And this is the paradox.  Unlike LA, you cannot casting-couch yourself into citizenship.  You just have to BE. The more you want it, the more it will never be yours.

For those of us who cannot be, yet cannot get enough, there’s Overheard in New York.  Often snot-out-your-nose funny, absurd quotes heard ’round the City are sent in by anonymous passers-by.   Some could be heard pretty much anywhere, but it’s the context of so much crazy on one page.  It’s like riding the morning train with a cup of Dunkin donuts coffee. Sigh.

Well-meaning volunteer: Help yourself, free condoms from the department of public health.
Hugely pregnant passerby: Too late.

–Grand Central Terminal – Overheard by: Katie


Homeless man: Hello, everyone. My name is Mike*, and I’m homeless and starving. If you have any- [His cell phone rings.] Excuse me. [Picks up phone.] I’m working, man, what’s up?

–Q Train

Five-year-old boy: I want a spoon of peanut butter for breakfast!
Dad: Are you allowed to eat that for breakfast? I’m not sure, let’s call your mom.
Five-year-old boy: You’re an adult, you can make those decisions.

–Bleecker St – Overheard by: Cecilia


Mother: Oh, guess what, honey? Debbie’s having a baby!
Six-year-old daughter: She’s going to be a horrible mother.

–The Met

Ghetto chickYo, he is datin’ Sheryl now. I told him, ‘Tell me when you kiss her.’ He was all, ‘Why?’ so I said, ‘So I know not to kiss her!’ I’m bilingual, yo.

Thug #1 to Thug #2, while observing typical, plain, Midwest vacationing family getting off a tour bus: Get back on that bus! This New York! You can’t handle this shit! [Teenage kids smile. The father, absolutely horrified, grabs the kids and throws them back on the bus.]

–42nd St & 5th Ave – Overheard by: Bunk Moreland

My sentiments exactly.

Photos from: Untitled NameWhat I SeeFood Music Justice, Gotham Gazette,

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2 Responses to I’ll Take Manhattan, the Bronx & Staten Island, Too

  1. Persephone says:

    New York: It’s the end of May and it’s 50 degrees and overcast. Someone rubbed their man package against me on the train this morning. I was attacked by a weedy college student from Ohio who demanded “five minutes for children” and was irate when I said, flatly, “NO.”

    I am so over this nonsense. I need a mint julep.

  2. ollieoof says:

    Aw, that was lovely, Persephone. If we put our resources together, I believe we can get that printed on the back of I Heart NY t-shirts.

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