Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Self in the City: The Case for New York and Mumbai

February 17, 2009 7:20 am
Comment #135

Perhaps Americans need to dream more expansively, and live their dreams, the older they grow. Perhaps that's the lesson to learn from the Pew study (see link below).

I lived for two years in Amsterdam in the 70's (while researching the double diaspora of the Surinam Indians) on my way to a doctorate at Columbia.

However I opted to live in New York (which to my mind is in a dead heat with Mumbai), over smaller, more cohesive, less diverse, less inclusive Amsterdam, because New York is MORE in every sense of the word -- NYC is a global city with ethical capacity, like Mumbai.

In New York I can use, reuse and yet again reuse my blue or orange Fairway bags and then climb into the M4 bus to reach my door in Washington Heights. I can take the F to Second Avenue to a birthday party in the East Village for an Amazon macaw born in a Manhattan apartment in the middle of winter, called Peacenik, whose picture on my fridge, with his doting parents I can share with my older son who is a vice-president at ING, as well as an avid birder.
The owners belong to a group called Parrots for Peace and their avian charges grow up to say things like "Peace will Prevail." to their human interlocutors.

The metaglobal, ocassionally quirky collective consciousness of a porous city, that New York and Mumbai amplify, makes it unnecessary for me to "retire" (what a dead-end word) to the city. I'm already here and I have never consumed anything from Starbucks or McDonalds.
The global city like New York, Mumbai and some others, makes ethical choices ever more critical and possible.
Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

I Dream of Denver BY David Brooks
New York Times copyright
Pew Research Center copyright


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