We’ve Lost Our Edge

In the days following 9/11 when we stood along the highway holding up thank you signs for the rescue workers, my friend Anne wore a tshirt that read “New York Fucking City.” I was so proud. It was like saying to the terrorists, “Fuck you. We’re still here.”

I’ve always loved New York’s edge, that we talk like that. It pissed me off when my book “The Restless Sleep” came out and all these people said I was trying to sound like a cop because I said fuck a lot. Hello?? No! I talk like that!! Really! I was writing exactly how I talk. My singing proposal has the word fuck six times on the first page.

Except I’m probably going to take that out. First, I don’t think people “hear” the word the way we say it. And second, we don’t really talk like that anymore. New York, well Manhattan anyway, has gotten so homogenized. I don’t want to get into a whole thing about the New York of my youth that is gone, gone, gone, it’s boring, I know.

I just wanted to explain why I took this picture. I saw these tshirts and thought, ‘We’re not that city anymore.’

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “We’ve Lost Our Edge

  1. I’m so sorry you feel badly about missing the NYC of your childhood. I only saw it for the first time in 1999 and it seemed like the most beautiful city in the world to me (and I still think of it like that).

    I probably wouldn’t wear the “fuck you you fucking dick” shirt, but it makes me laugh all the same. As someone whose favorite phrase is “fuck sake,” I say more power to you for swearing. Keep up the good work.

  2. c’mon fess up-you’re a Strong Island girl and you know it. Strong Island girls can curse with the best of ’em. 🙂

    The fetid sewer of our collective youth….Hells’ playground…NYC…has been cauterized by the likes of Guiliani and Bloomie.
    WTF ?

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