Sunday, September 6, 2009

East Coast: Not Casual

As a recent transplant to New York, I have the advantage of the outsider's keen eye, like Alexis de Tocqueville -- the frog who documented our great nation in his famous book America Is Rad.

Which brings me to my first observation of un-casual life: waiting in really long lines for food. This is something we don't do on the fairer coast -- not since the Depression, anyway. The only LA exception that comes to mind is Pink's, which any native knows is pure garbage.

Yet in my five days here, I've waited longer to patronize food establishments than in all my time on the West Coast, in lines often more crowded and uncivilized than a Chinese DMV.

Eating must be casual. After a few hours of reclining, you feel hungry, amble over to your favorite eatery, order, and savor your fare -- all without breaking a sweat. The moment you have to scheme and struggle for a meal, you regress to the life of a hunter-gatherer. A life that has nothing to do with leisure.

I'll be here to remind everyone of all the ways the east coast remains the quintessential enemy of the casual lifestyle.

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