Ambivalence

The beginnings of a (hopefully) longer meditation on a city space.

This has been a bad day so far. The bubble tea I picked up in an impulsive huff bites my throat as it slides down, sugary slurry. I try to balance the liquid-to-tapioca ratio with each sip. it is a futile endeavour the black spheres accumulating in the crevices of the mound of superfluous ice resting at the bottom of the clear, unadorned plastic cup. i stand on the street corners mid-slurp, sensing the ball in the straw hovering in de-oxygenated purgatory, wondering how long i can keep this up. it would be useful to take deep breaths, instead. the pedestrian indicators are leading my agitated steps towards somewhere, the promenade. the air is just frigid enough to keep me awake but not suffering, physically. it is not difficult to get to the promenade from my workstation– a straight shot past the back of a raucous school playground obscured by wrought-iron gates and barren trees, and rows upon rows of renovated sandwich stack apartments. a larger complex here and there, a smaller complex in my head.

why is it that from a semi-safe distance new york looks fake. it gives me an uncanny feeling this view from the edge of brooklyn, lanes of traffic hurtling forward beneath the benches arrayed in fine lines for malingerers. a conglomeration of tall buildings in the distance, looking like vintage game pieces arranged on a board pilfered from a different box, too small for them all. perhaps because the manhattan skyline is the archetype of urban celestial architecture it has assumed the air of a simulacrum, its vitality displaced permanently onto a million external manifestations and imitations. that falsity deepens my ambivalence towards the city every time i witness it.

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