The world is slated to be destroyed about 10 days from now by angry Mayan gods, so planning a night of hardcore partying and heavy drinking might seem a bit pointless this year. Maybe you should just start writing a list of regrets followed by a slew of apology letters to the people you hate and haven’t spoken to in years. Then you can abandon all of your possessions on a street corner and cap the whole thing off by setting your dog free to fend for himself, heading to Central Park, and staking out the tree that will become your tombstone.
Or you could embrace the notion that whatever created the cosmos digs humanity and wants nothing more than for you to celebrate your brief span in the heart of the greatest city ever—the city of us, the few who have been drawn from the four corners of the earth to show the rest of our species that, yes, it is possible to live together and build great things. This is the place where freedom of expression can quietly live up the street from ancient dogma. This is where a marvelous, glittering metropolis can weather the worst nature has to offer and still come together not only unbroken, but also undiminished. This is New York City.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 12, 2012