Dear NASA, Stop being such a cock tease already. You really had me there with your Arsenic-based life forms. I had a serious science-fiction-turned-fact hard-on for you. But then you had to lie to me with your false findings and erroneous reports. Why did you decide to support an experiment that could be so easily refuted? I don’t think I can continue believing you anymore with your dreams of finding extraterrestrial life out there. Stephen Hawking is probably right in saying that we should leave well enough alone since this just proves how easily we can all be duped. Maybe we just live on some redneck planet in the backwater part of the galaxy and we should just go on playing the banjo alone.
abby, chef, bronx
Life is not fair, and the modern woman quickly learns that she must crusade against this unfortunate status quo. She focuses her attack on equal pay, eradicating prejudice and too often, hones in on increased sexual freedom. For some reason, the general consensus seems to be that to earn the same respect and salaries as our male counterparts, we have to act like them. We’re becoming a society of avoidance; love ‘em and leave ‘em, or more aptly, fuck ‘em and forget ‘em, is the new motto. When did one-night stands become okay? Recall the charming, pithy words of Lil’ Kim: “If the guy have three girls then he’s the man. He can either give us some head, sex her off. If a girl do the same, then she’s a whore.” This is changing, however, and we must be careful not to view it as a social victory for women.
mary anne, retail, eastside
Gentrification is threatening the dignity of many of the city’s inhabitants, the nearly homeless, those who are working overtime to make sure a roof stays over their heads. Since time immerorial, corporations that own buildings have allowed them to fall into disrepair in order to drive out low-income residents and later raise rents, and the Department of Public Housing only has the authority to fix the gravest of violations. (Bathtubs falling through the floor and broken hot water heaters, for instance.) Mushrooms growing from the ceiling and floor tiles so hot they nearly burn skin? Forget about it. These aren’t “Class C” violations, and many residents wait years before anybody does anything. Many people never realize their neighbors are being forced to live in this state because they can’t afford anything better, and the people who suffer these conditions often don’t know how to organize or speak out. Action is mainly being taken at the grassroots level, so find out if there are any housing organizations in your neighborhood and get informed!
nicky, swimming instructor, parkside
I’m sorry, but unless you have some tragic disability, when you’re going to the second, third, even the fourth floor, you have no business taking the elevator. You know as well as I do that everyone needs to move, move, move and needs everything fast, fast, fast. I hear you sigh with frustration when the barista is having an off day and the espresso machine is not acting up to par. Now, I understand that the world revolves around you, but you’re unnecessarily making everyone else’s elevator ride that much longer. Listen, if I can climb five flights of stairs in spike heels to my apartment – even when I still need to change and I’m already running late – you’re more than capable of climbing three. Especially when you’re wearing fucking jogging shoes for Christ’s sake. I don’t know, maybe you actually have a desire for a ballooning ass. Maybe you’re excited for diabetes and an early death. Frankly, I don’t care. But when your inane laziness breaks the simplest of elevator etiquette rules or just the basics of human decency and I see your finger reach out to press the floor 2 button, I might just bite it right off.
rachel, designer, flatiron
I’m beginning to feel rather suffocated by the apathy around me. Whether seen on the stage of national politics, or in the eyes of my fellow L train riders on our collective morning commute… I am slowly dying as a result of their appallingly low reserves of enthusiasm. Or passion. About anything. Or so it would seem. Perhaps I should stick to my own dealings with apathy. On the other side of my affected disinterest is usually fear of some sort or another. Before I became engaged in politics, the apathy that blocked my way was only a misguided fear of my own ability to jump in the game, so-to-speak. As for the subway and its rampant social apathy (so unfortunately “fashionable” these days), I have found that underneath my own vacant shoegaze stare is a desire to look around curiously, not to mention tap my feet (not to mention my hands, if that day’s bag is looking particularly drum-like) to the tune of whatever song I’m listening to.
ash, hospitality, jersey city
Nothing beats New York City summers: Levis’ cut offs. Tank tops. Hot asphalt. Baseball caps. Dirty feet in flip-flops. BBQs. Rooftop sunsets. Sweaty sex. Kickball in Prospect Park. Vodka lemonades sipped coolly on the terrace. Margaritas to-go. Watching Do The Right Thing and Kids 987 times, just to get in the spirit of things. Pool parties. Block parties. Free concerts. Old movies in Bryant Park. The Hamptons. Mister Softee. Weekend camping trips Upstate. Coney Island: funnel cake, the Cyclone, and Nathan’s hot dogs. So please. For the love of our city, for the love of our summer, and for the enjoyment of all: if you can’t stand the heat, get out the effing kitchen! I don’t want to hear you gripe about “oppressive heat,” “outrageous A/C bills,” or “disgusting humidity.” Just leave. No one’s gonna miss you.
Peter, writer, westside
Tolerating poor and slow service at a restaurant, a burnt coffee at Starbucks or an idiot on the Subway who has somewhere more important to be than you, are all going to be never ending occurrences unless someone decides to speak up and be heard. Americans have become scared to utter the simplest complaint and are too concerned with the opinion they may bestow upon themselves if using their words. We no longer expect much in return from what most of our hard earned dollars go into. The quality of our clothing, the taste of our food, and the lifestyle we live are all a reflection of something we as individuals settle on. When will someone stand up and argue the fact that a change needs to be made in the expectations that we set upon standards in society? The 85-year-old woman at Starbucks is not going to waste her time chiming in about a luke warm cup of tea, and the mother of three cares more about feeding her children than the rude service she received from her waitress. It is us, the younger people of America that should take a stand for what we deserve and should expect. We have fallen into a trap of settling for anything less than the best and if we don’t want a future of settling for the bare minimum then another day should not be wasted on the bare minimum on the receiving end. Stop biting your tongue and speak up!
ken, admin, uws
There is nothing worse for America and America’s image than a drive thru. Nothing. The fact that people are still ignorant enough to eat fast food is tragedy enough, but then that they’re too lazy to get out of their gas-guzzlers and stretch their legs for five minutes so they can chow down on a double mega burger with fries and a milkshake? There’s nothing worse for you than to have someone lean out a window and hand you an inhumanely slaughtered cow, slammed between two pieces of over-processed bread, slathered with high fructose corn syrup (and likely spit) and then to have someone take your money for this monstrosity, while you sit in your safe haven of a planet-destroying vehicle and whine that they forgot extra ketchup.
Luz, maintainance, staten island