Thursday, June 13, 2013

On being young and with-it

To the people who keep referring to the traitor-hero exile who looks just like the political-science prof... to the people who keep referring to dude as "a young kid" and the like, I thank you. He is 29. I am 29. 29, so young! Practically a child! The approach of 30 brings with it the list-of-things-I-will-now-hope-to-have-done-by-35-which-just-doesn't-sound-as-impressive. (Also decrepitude, but we women get used to being told we're over the hill from drinking-age on, so that I'm not so worried about.) So please, keep calling Snowden a little boy. For my sake.

Also flattering: I'm reading Joseph Epstein's Snobbery: the American version, and loving his enthusiasm for the University of Chicago, which he attended. I must drop my college's name more often. (Less fond of his take on American Francophiles, and on Americans who marry Europeans - but whevs, if you marry a Belgian, and buy that person a deep-fryer as an anniversary gift-that-keeps-on-giving, you get Belgian fries, at home, so it's Epstein's loss.)

But more surprising - and thus more flattering - is his insistence, in chapter after chapter, that there's some cachet to living in Princeton, New Jersey. Not to being affiliated with Princeton University - that's not hard to imagine. But with just living there. Not there, here. Princeton, according to Epstein, is one of a handful of "with-it" American cities. Right there on page 229 (or just in the version available at the Princeton Public Library?) It's... I hadn't even realized it was a city. What about the deer? The ticks? The turtles? But we are soon going to get a second independent coffee shop, which is something. And we do have better sushi than New York - not sure how that came to be, but there it is. And the beer-ice-cream. Could be worse.

10 comments:

Petey said...

"Also flattering: I'm reading Joseph Epstein's Snobbery: the American version, and loving his enthusiasm for the University of Chicago, which he attended. I must drop my college's name more often"

Hmmm. Think carefully here before you leap...

"Less fond of his take on American Francophiles, and on Americans who marry Europeans"

Sounds like University of Chicago to me...

"But more surprising - and thus more flattering - is his insistence, in chapter after chapter, that there's some cachet to living in Princeton, New Jersey. Not to being affiliated with Princeton University - that's not hard to imagine. But with just living there. Not there, here."

Sounds like University of Chicago again. Perhaps he likes the Tiger paraphernalia and the particular tenor of the undergrad populace and the alums?

(Actually, sure there is cachet in living in Princeton. It's bucolic, close to New York, and a college town. There's cachet to living in Northampton for quite similar reasons, though probably not for the median University of Chicago alum. But generally, there is always cachet to college towns, and Princeton has enough going on to qualify. After all, would you rather live in Bloomington or Elkhart?)

Petey said...

Also:

"And we do have better sushi than New York"

Well, no. Though I am happy you have adequate options.

And:

The new Joyce Carol Oates novel might make good summer reading for you.

Jacob T. Levy said...

I wish I could be comparably flattered to be told I *look* like a 29-year old. But... eh.

Phoebe said...

Petey,

Better sushi at the equivalent price. And restaurant prices here are generally higher.

JTL,

It's uncanny! I wouldn't say unflattering in a looks sense, but I would be worried about FBI agents and such. Makes me glad to just look like Tina Fey. I don't think she's wanted for anything espionage-related (or otherwise).

Matt said...

The turtles?

Turtles are everywhere. I saw lots of them in New York City when I lived there, and many ponds, parks, etc. in Philadelphia have them. They are not rare at all.

Phoebe said...

Matt,

So, so many years in NYC, plenty of time spent in parks, and I don't remember turtles. I'm not as with-it as you, it seems. Or, not as observant.

Matt said...

The big ponds in central park, in particular, are full of turtles. Very hard to miss.

fourtinefork said...

I once saw a little old lady walking a turtle, on a leash, down 9th Avenue.

Phoebe said...

Matt, Fourtinefork,

I think the answer is that I either have a bad memory or am not all that observant. (Are there also deer I'm forgetting about?)

Matt said...

I certainly never saw a deer in the city, (though if you go to Wissahickon park in Philadelphia certain times of year, you can't miss them) though a coyote once was in central park- since it was a big news story I assume that's unusual. (Supposedly there are coyote in my very normal neighborhood in Denver, where I live now, though that's surely less surprising. I've never seen one.) I did once see a raccoon in central park, but it was out in the day- something only sick raccoon do, I think, so I didn't get close.