"Dear New York," writes Solomon in the Times City Room blog "I left you today. I know you didn't even pause long enough to notice; you've never had much use for the past tense, New York, or for those who use it." Oh, but he will make New York take notice, and by "New York" he means "the red-haired girl I had chased East," who then "said 'I'm sorry' and left with another man." Solomon writes,
New York, I won't miss your fierce morning halitosis exhaled from your subway grates along Third Avenue. [...] I won't miss how you stood too late outside the bars and smoked until there was a blue nimbus around your head like some strange halo, and how to me you always smelled like spent Camel Lights, and warming urine, and the No. 14 bus - a perfume I never could quite embrace.
Wait, who are we talking about again? Luckily, Solomon spells it out:
Oh, New York! who am I kidding? You are that red-haired girl who welcomed me here and then did not want me. And like her, I still love you, and even now I miss you.
I miss seeing you slapping down dominoes with the Puertoriqueños on the card table you'd set up in the street on steamy August nights in Alphabet City (not gentrified yet!).
I miss you standing listlessly with the homosexuals in their tube tops outside dark-windowed clubs as they waited for rescue from their boredom.
I miss your neon running in the gutters like blood.
I'm not sure what's creepier — the fact that Solomon is the kind of guy who fetishizes "Puertoriqueños" and ungentrified places while using "homosexual" as a noun, or the image of the red-haired girl's, um, neon running in the gutters. Whatever the case, Times commenters have stepped up with uncharacteristic panache to set Solomon straight. Among their criticisms: "I think your initial expectations were unrealistic and may have contributed to the disappointment." So often true in life, love, and crap email! Also: "There are no subway gratings on Third Avenue."
Goodbye, New York. Thanks For Breaking My Heart. [NYT City Room Blog]