We’re Back…

A note to the Weekly Digest Readers:


I have no idea who the woman in this photo is. She just happened to be in the window seat on the side of the plane that was flying over Manhattan…

You’re going to see a lot more posts in my weekly digest this week…

It’s mostly photos that I posted from the week that Ann and I just spent in New York.  Well, starting in New York but mostly in Connecticut, a bit of New Jersey for my niece’s wedding, and then a couple of days pounding around Manhattan.

I’m still sort of digesting the trip… a couple of big takeaways are:

1) The prevalence of mobile devices.  I know this is nothing new to observe, but when you are in a city of like 10 million people and every one of them has their eyes fixed on a tiny screen regardless of what else they’re doing, it becomes that much more obvious that something fundamental about the way we live in the world has changed.

2) On a related note: when did it become OK to conduct an entire conversation with another person without even bothering to remove the ear-buds in your ears?  I mean, who does that? Well, a lot of people in New York do that.  We had dinner in one restaurant where we had a good view of the patrons at the bar, and we literally watched one guy conduct and entire conversation with the woman seated beside him, wired dangling from his ears the entire time.  Like, for almost an hour.  Sorry I didn’t get a photo of THAT.

3) Contemporary, popular music played on sound systems in public places like trendy restaurants is just fucking ghastly. I guess it’s just de riguer these days, the establishments have a sound system installed, put it on some channel, and then ignore what’s being played, it’s just part of the background noise.  But for the the patrons (OK, this patron), the sonic assault detracts from the experience of the joint.  It makes me want to leave (especially if it’s this godawful nothing-but-beats hip-hop stuff that is so popular these days, and yes, I know saying that makes me a very old man of the “get off my lawn” stripe…).

FWIW, the issue is not unique to New York. It’s a problem in Nashville, or anywhere else I’ve been lately.  It just seems worse when you’re already well out of your comfort zone and trying desperately to find some – well, comfort in an otherwise hostile urban environment.

The only reading of consequence you will find in today’s Digest is the first post – which appears at the bottom of the Digest listings – which I posted last week.  It’s the second installment of some reminiscences about my first year in Nashville, the year when I started “Songs.com” and a bit of what it it was like to explain the Internet to people who had often never heard of it.  Hard to imagine a time like that now…

Other than that it’s just photos from the trip, and not even the good ones – just the ones I thought to send from my camera to my phone so that I could Instagram them.  I’ll have to see what else I got when I get to the files…

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Paul Schatzkin