Last Wednesday I had the privilege of taking a day trip to New York City with a good friend of mine. (Our actual purpose there was to see a live taping of The Colbert Report, but that is a delicious story for another time.) Anyway, I realized real fast that while Jay-Z may have written a song about the glorious Empire State of Mind, he and I thought of entirely different things while walking the streets of the city that never sleeps. (I was going to quote certain lyrics to explain better what New York meant to Jay-Z, but as I read through the lyrics of his song, I realized it doesn’t make any sense… at all. So I decided against it.)
What Predominated My Mind In New York:
1) 1 in 6 people have herpes. This statistic really doesn’t mean much in my small Vermont town of a home. When I walk down the street, it is unlikely I will even pass six people altogether, so rarely do I think “1 in 6.” However, in New York as we walked the crowded sidewalks, people bustling this way and that, I began to realize that I had undoubtedly passed many a herpified person, probably at least 50. In such a people-concentrated area, statistics begin to take shape (at least in my mind), and I began looking at every single passerby as a contaminated STD vessel. Was I being too harsh in my general judgements? Probably… not.
2) Where the hell are Benson and Stabler? I rarely watch TV, but when I do, you can bet the program I choose is a dramatized version of heinous sex crimes and the law surrounding it (duh). When arriving in New York City, I could literally see Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler bending down under yellow “crime scene” tape and walking towards the victim (mid to late 30′s, female, probably a pro, definitely has herpes) and then together we would all investigate and find the perp (white male, late 40′s, medium build, probably has herpes). However, even though at every passing corner it seemed most logical that those two would come rounding the building- Olivia in her leather jacket and Elliot in a collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up- I did not see them once. (This could be the biggest disappointment NY bestowed upon me.)
3) Men call women shorty in real life, not just rap songs. This was one of those mysteries I had possibly pondered once or twice, but never really gave a shit about: do men actually call women shorty for real? Well folks, I can safely say that yes, they do. I was approached by a black man who was trying to convince me to ride his site seeing bus, and he did so by tacking on the word shorty at the end. I declined, with a puzzled look on my face because at that point I was unsure if he was insulting my height (5’1″) or if he was using the word I had heard 50 Cent use in his rap songs in reference to (I think) a girl. The conversation only got worse when he asked where I was from and when I said Vermont, he replied “never heard of it, where is it?” I, much to the dismay of my friend, decided to school this young man by insulting his intelligence and explaining using big words that it was a state in the United States of America… next to New York. (He stopped trying to convince me to ride his bus.) Anyway, point being, what I thought was a word only used in rap songs is a word actually used in everyday, real life conversation. Word to that. Myth busted (as well as the English language… slowly… painfully).
4) New York is nice, but… Vermont is better. I’m sure there are a million (if not more) people who would argue this with me, but I have to say, there’s no place like home. Sure, my home is a place where you have to drive 30 minutes to get to a McDonald’s (there’s not 5 on every street), and it’s a place people in the next state over have never heard of (even though Vermont is a STATE, d-bag), and unlike New York, it sleeps and it sleeps in late… But it’s also a place where the statistic 1 in 6 seems almost obsolete, and Benson and Stabler would pretty much be out a job unless they enjoy regulating DUI’s, and no one ever calls me shorty -unless they’re making fun of me- so I think it’s safe to say…
Vermont is where my heart is. (Eat your heart out, Jay-Z!)