This week’s reports from the city’s reality
Since leaving the city last Wednesday, my life has been refreshingly calm. That I ignored site work until Monday surely helped, but it wasn’t the only factor. For the first time in eight months, I got to drive a car. It wasn’t even my own car — the Rosemobile sadly perished years ago — but it was still a place of peace. All week I got to play my music, crack the sunroof, and most importantly, leave for places at a reasonable time. A good bout of tourist traffic would’ve surely spoiled all this, but I somehow managed to avoid it. It was as if the transportation gods were rewarding me for years of dutiful service to the whims of public transportation (i.e. my two hour trip to the airport last week.) Within minutes of returning, though, the MTA spiked my frustration levels once again. Due to that most minor of earth rumblings, the Air Train was taken out of service (which of course no one told us for 30 minutes), forcing me to fork over an exorbitant sum to cab home. Whenever you escape the system, New York will always find a way to pull you back in.
I am waging total chemical war on anything in my apartment with more than two legs. A few weeks ago I found out that I’d been providing a nighttime smorgasbord for some bedbugs and have since been going through the grand and inconvenient process of eradicating them. With all of my earthly possessions quarantined in well-sealed plastic bags, these few weeks — oddly enough — have been fairly productive. I’ve been getting most of my work done in cafes, discovering the best spots to hole up for a while and getting to chat with tons of interesting people. I’ve picked up some projects that I’ve let sit for too long and have begun a few new ones in the process. I have also seen all the episodes of Mr. Bean that Netflix has to offer. More importantly, with my material life packed up, I’ve had time to focus on where I’m at personally and have started to change the things about my life that needed improving.
-Jarrod J. Annis
I have officially experienced my first earthquake ever, and it wasn’t in California, it was right here in good old New York City. A few months back, in light of the terrible tragedies in Japan, a friend tried to convince me that New York City was due for a “mega-earthquake” of cataclysmic proportions. They claimed that it was of the same vein as the other mega-earthquake that is due to hit California any day now and send L.A. into John Carpenter territory. They went on to claim that we are located over a “major fault line” (which I do not think is true, I checked) and that our city would be powerless to do anything against it due to architectural designs not taking earthquake damage into account. Many of my friends were quick to flock to Facebook and Twitter proclaiming the news. Some said they didn’t feel safe in their multi-story office buildings and went home for the day. Another said they were contemplating moving away. Isn’t running from an earthquake kind of like running from air pollution? I admit the experience of an earthquake in a place so remote from any major fault lines is a freaky occurrence, but this is hardly the time to upgrade our insurance to include earthquake damage. Sure, the designers of this city probably didn’t take them into account, but preparing for an earthquake in New York City makes about as much sense as running volcano safety drills in the Sahara. I suppose it’s human nature to flip your wig when the improbable occurs, even on such a small scale, but my friends: get a grip! If you’re worried about tremors anywhere, take a look at the stock market, look at the investigation of Rupert Murdoch, but don’t create fear where none needs to exist.