"It is hard for people who don’t know what the city was like in the seventies or the early eighties to understand not only how different it seemed then but how tragically insoluble its problems were believed to be." -- The city in question is New York, of course, and Adam Gopnik's short, sad little New Yorker piece notes that with the wave of chain stores, condo conversions, and de-grubbification washing over the city, "New York is safer and richer but less like itself, an old lover who has gone for a face-lift and come out looking like no one in particular." I think back on the old version fondly, a strange blend of Mean Streets and The Royal Tennenbaums...and subways that looked like this! (via Kottke)

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