“In New York City, there are very real concerns about the cost of living, and whether we are creating a city so dense and so expensive that it will repel diversity, both ethnic and economic. That diversity is vital, and correct, particularly as the city contemplates ways to accommodate a population boom over the next ten years.
But the rest is just nostalgia. We New Yorkers are thought of as a nostalgic bunch, but that’s not quite right. We archive and study the past because we know here in a way that they can’t quite know in Mayberry that things change all the time, and we want to remember all of it. We want to understand all of it, and here, nothing lasts long enough to be understood in its actual lifetime.
When it comes to ‘knowing’ New York City, the line that I think of is Chaucer’s version of one of the oldest proverbs of antiquity: ‘The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne.’”