There are some things in life about which everyone seems to have an opinion. A settled opinion. The sort of opinion that inclines a person to look with pity at anyone who favors a different view. Because it’s not just a different view, is it? It’s a sadly mistaken view. The product of naivety or insufficient experience. Or maybe it’s just that this schlep doesn’t get it. I mean, have you ever met anyone so obtuse in your life?
Many teachers feel this way about their work, for example. Teacher A is dead certain that there is one best way to teach Beowulf or the quadratic equation or the American Revolution. Teacher B is equally certain that Teacher A’s students are poor, unfortunate, lost souls.
Or what you should do for your lower back pain. What to see and do in some well-known vacation destination. “When you’re in London, you just have to go to this restaurant we found and order this exact dish.” That sort of thing.
I suspect that New York City, as a topic about which people can opine, is much the same. Try it yourself. Give people this sentence: “New York is _________.”
For me? At the moment? It’s home for the next three months.
More later. Title suggestions for this series of posts welcome. An Autumn in Gotham? Mr. Abbot Goes to Manhattan?