Jeremiah Moss - On Cities Changing

Jeremiah Moss's Vanishing New York blog has served me, and countless other New Yorkers like me, of the city's change for the worse.

His new book Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul, has been extremely helpful as I put in perspective my departure of New York City.  Both Jeremiah and I have been New Yorkers for the same period of over 20 years.  I believe we've crossed paths multiple times as we took in the vanishing bars, movie houses, bookshops, cafés, concert venues, and specialty shops.

Here's a passage from the conclusion of his book, which really struck a chord with me...

For generations, New Yorkers have both celebrated a grieved the city's changeability.  Harper's claimed in 1856 that New York is "never the same city for a dozen years together.  A man born in New York forty years ago finds nothing, absolutely nothing, of the New York he knew."  More recently, Colson Whitehead declared: "You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is there now."  Fair enough.  But as I hope this book has illustrated, the nature of urban change has changed.  As Adam Gopnik put it, "Cities change.  It is their nature.  Those which stop changing stop being cities.  Cities that change entirely, though, cease to be themselves."  For years now, New York hasn't been itself.  It is being de-urbanized.