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Mind of State: New York
Why Do I Love You Again?
Writer: Ghia Vitale
Illustrator: Leslie Pyo
I thought you might appreciate it if I interrupted your lives with another glimpse of the synesthetic experience that is my everyday existence. My mind personifies the United States as well as the United Kingdom and other countries. Places also have colors (likely because of constant exposure to colored maps for as long as I’ve attended school, perhaps longer.)
States having personalities mean that they might clash with mine or blend well. I could have loved ones in those states. To be honest, town names do it too but to a much lesser degree. I realized this after years of unwarranted prejudice toward certain places and inexplicable fondness toward others. I have no doubt that my experiences influence my associations, but I've found that a lot of these states' personalities developed reflexively. Well, now it all makes sense.
I’ll start with my home state, New York, except I feel as though it would be irreverent if I were to conflate the individual personalities of Upstate New York and Downstate New York.
Down State New York is a medium-to-light shade of blue, kind of like that default shade of medium blue that’s all over the baseball teams. Y’know, like Democrat blue. It’s also got some baby blue thrown in with Pepsi accents and has a vaguely striped texture. Oddly enough, the word tastes minty, kind of like York Peppermint Patty. (Heads up: The York Peppermint Patty might have contributed to my prejudice against Pennsylvania.)
When he’s in a good mood (yes, Downstate New York has a gender), he’s really chill and has this rogue sophistication that enchants people into believing that no matter how shitty it can be, New York is the epicenter of the world. He might as well be the epicenter of the American universe, as far as New York is concerned. I actually do notice this innate New York Narcissism in people I encounter. Sometimes, I fall into it and feel empowered just because I’m a New Yorker and New York unquestionably rules.
Like many narcissists, Downstate New York also has a magnetic charm to him. He assures you that you’re privileged to be associated with him and, deep down, he actually kind of likes you. That’s the weird part: somewhere underneath his white-collared shirt, he has this weird laid-back side that totally contrasts his angry boss level of demandingness. Forwardness is in his genes. He’s not afraid of confrontation and believes that it is actually a very positive thing. That’s one thing most people don’t like about Downstate New York but I adore: his directness. New York will never tell you an outright lie, only ones that he expects you to catch onto quickly. First and foremost, Downstate New York values and respects honesty, even if it's not upfront and public honesty, which is why he understands when politicians lie to people in order to make money. He likes that kind of ambition. Despite his brashness, sometimes he nudges you on the shoulder and tells you, “You’re going places, kid.” Then he hands you your rent for the month.
Downstate New York knows that he’s the shit. Downstate New York appreciates individuality. He has this weird masochistic side in which he simultaneously controls and loathes the government. Although his rudeness contradicts the notion of compassion, Downstate New York is socially liberal. Downstate New York won’t take any nonsense from anyone. Personally, he isn’t down with discrimination and racism isn’t cool, but he doesn’t give enough of a damn to care if his inhabitants do. Downstate New York is too successful to give a damn which is why we have such lenient liquor laws. It’s the same reason why his police are intimidating. He’s quite the drinker himself and regularly hits the bar with his co-workers. According to him, he’s faultless and the blame always falls with his victim.
Downstate New York is rich because he’s willing to do anything for money regardless of whether or not it's ethical. He is so rich that he can do whatever the hell he wants while you cope with the high rent he charges. As far as New York is concerned, he owns the copyright to the earth and patented the universe. Downstate New York's primary intentions are to make money and be productive in that exact order. He’s too concerned with these things to actively care about anything else, but he does have a soft side that is absolutely irresistible because he’s seen almost all there is to see. He's okay with you pursuing your ideals as long as they don’t conflict with your ability to make money.
Downstate New York is too much of a hardass to accept that Winter exists and it’s untamable. He’s intimidated because Winter gives way less of a damn than he does, and even snickers at his defeat when it convinces him that a massive snow storm is coming. So massive, that he has to shut down businesses and institution for liability reasons. He’s resentful because he has no control over what Winter does. But that sure as hell won't stop a go-getter like New York! He's got this ingenius idea that if he exerts the right combination of voice decibels and neck sweat, Winter will just go away.
Downstate New York is really sarcastic in the best and worst way. His humor is so dry that it can make you parched. Everything is a sick joke about his reality, regardless of whether it’s cruel, light-hearted, or even touching. And for some reason, I feel privileged to be allowed entry into New York's overpriced club house.
#Real #Places #NYC #NewYork #USCities #Geography #CityLiving #DownstateNewYork #UpstateNewYork #NewYorkState
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