City Mouse Takes Exception to Country Mouse

Matt Bevilacqua pens a response to a recent opinion piece by author Shalom Auslander in the <em>New York Observer</em> that decries the big city for turning people into "blithering narcissists."
May 22, 2012, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"As a general booster of all things urban," Bevilacqua is compelled to respond to Auslander's recent opinion piece praising the humbling power of nature over the narcissistic power of the city.

"Auslander misses the point, I think, because he can't see that it's just as easy to find humbling solace among tall buildings as it is in the woods. There's something about separating yourself form the fast-moving crowds, every now and again, to drown in the immensity of a city. Like the sight of a mountain or vast valley, it can make you feel small and insignificant."

"Granted, too many people might feel entitled to everything in the world. And yes, walking around a city like New York can leave you with the impression that everyone lives in a myopic bubble where nothing other than their own feelings and desires. 

"But the city itself doesn't create that bubble. We're all flawed creatures, whether we live in SoHo or the setting of Brother's Keeper. All that living in the city does is force us to see one another, in all our damaged glory, on a daily basis. Some of us - and increasingly, many of us - think it's worth it."


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Published on Friday, May 18, 2012 in Next American City
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