Monday, April 19, 2010

New York or Lewisham?

Once in New York, all I could think about was how we would get back there again. It's an incredible place - but when I say that, I feel about as original as the person who commissioned this park bench plaque in Central Park:

Imbeciles!(!!) Surely there must be some kind of municipal fine for people who engrave such things in aluminium. Either a municipal fine, or some kind of punishment in the afterlife.

Anyway, we got talking to one of the front desk attendants at the YMCA, and found that he wasn't as happy with New York as we were. He was originally from Gabon, but had moved to New York from London. When we told him that we were from London he exclaimed, "Oh, London is lovely!" and went on to say that he had lived in Lewisham for a number of years.

Now, we used to live in Greenwich, which is right next to Lewisham, and Lewisham, without being too nasty, is one of the most depressing places you could choose to live in London. In what is now one of my favourite quotes, Edith Nesbit in The Wouldbegoods (1899) sums it up:

In London, or at any rate Lewisham, nothing happens unless you make it happen; or if it happens it doesn't happen to you, and you don't know the people it does happen to.

It made me wonder what kind of horrible experience Mr. Front Desk Attendant had had living in New York.

Maybe it's not as fun to work at the YMCA as it is to stay there.

1 comment:

Sweet Olive Press | Helen said...

Can I sometimes just shout, "HA! THAT'S AMUSING!" à la Richard Reeve, when I'm laughing and can't think of anything worthwhile to say?