141 Comments
Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Despair man seems like he has a story to tell. Despair Man sounds like a really terrible superhero.

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Despair Man is my favorite.

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Able to defuse small plans in a single word! Look, down in the dumps, it's a rat, it's a plane crash. No! It's DESPAIR MAN!

"I'm feeling joy despite my circumstances! HELP!"

"This sounds like a job for...DESPAIR MAN!"

*arrives on the scene with a splat*

"Oh. Just give up. It won't matter in the end."

Another miracle save thanks to...DESPAIR MAN!

Join us next time for "Looking forward to this date!" or "Crushing anxiety despite this killer dress."

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Nov 21, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

😂😂😂

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Somehow this is the most NYC sentence I have ever read: "That's like saying the Q doesn't exist because it runs on the B line." I didn't know that a sentence could qualify as a native NYer, but this one 100% does.

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You're right, Bella!S Just the ability to formulate this sentence requires the understanding of so much context, and then to trust that one will be understood...

I love the idea that sentences can be New Yorkers!

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The three martini lunch explains everything.

And my world is still shaken by the map of the two parks. If I refuse to believe it, will that make me similar to a flat earth advocate?

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I am with you David! I refuse to believe despite the evidence!

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I am (again) flabbergasted and don’t know where to begin.

My initial reaction was to decertify you as a true New Yorker when I read you have only been here for 27 years. I would have to check your previous article on this topic to decide how to handle this.

But then I read the Z Train article and came to my senses. You are probably the ONLY true New Yorker, having voluntarily rode and written about the Z train.

Thank you. (Is there a limit on the use of flabbergasted in the comments section?)

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Wow Mordy, I nearly got decertified this morning and had no idea it was happening. A close call.

Curious how long it takes, in your mind, to become a true New Yorker. Not sure if you saw the previous discussion on this topic:

https://annekadet.substack.com/i/137566559/question-how-long-does-it-take

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I stand corrected. 25 years is the cutoff. I didn't know that. I was too lazy to look it up. Who am I to talk anyways? I live in another country now (California)!

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The MTA has a train that goes to Jupiter?

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Just $2.90 it's a deal for sure.

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

‘Something called YouGov’ is such a burn.

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LOL!

Okay, now I have to find out what YouGov actually is...

Quote from site: "YouGov is an international online research data and analytics technology group."

Based in the UK!

Publicly traded!

https://corporate.yougov.com/investors/

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Oh, books... When we left to become nomads we boxed up our hundreds and hundreds of books and put them into storage in case we ever moved back to the US. I mean, how could I give up my Anne of Green Gables boxed set or LOTR or my Calvin and Hobbes collection!

But finally last year we downsized our storage locker and made the decision to get rid of almost all of them. It was like giving up my favorite kids. Well, if I had kids...

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It's interesting, I am getting all these emails from readers, Michael, about The Time I Got Rid of Most (or Some, or All) of My Books. It seems this is a real landmark in the life of nearly every hard-core book reader.

I still remember the massive culling I performed maybe ten years ago. I got rid maybe 70% of the collection. I was SO ATTACHED to my books and then never missed one of them ever.

Where did all your books go?

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There's a used book store in Tacoma, WA, which is where our storage locker is. They took some and the rest went to Goodwill.

I'm still a little sad because the smell of those books was like a literal time machine back to my youth...

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That last sentence made me tear up.

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Aaw!!!!

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Nov 20, 2023·edited Nov 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

The NYC Subway systems surely is amazing and quirky with how wide ranging it is. On a different note, how or why do the Cortelyou Road and Beverley Road stations exist!? I think they might be separated by a city block. Just choose one, MTA!

I also love how there is a Appalachian Trail station for the Metro North. Some interesting stations in this area.

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Good point, Justin, especially considering what a lovely neighborhood that is for walking. They should donate the Cortelyou stop to someplace that truly needs it.

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BTW, did they ever settle on the spelling of Beverley Rd? There was a time when some signs said ‘Beverly’ and others ‘Beverley’.

I’d like this settled before I come back to Brooklyn, please.

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CL you know you can text Mayor Eric Adams, right?

917-909-2288

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Thanks, Anne! He’s just the mayor to fix this!

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Since my comment made it into an issue of The Cafè, am I an honorary New Yorker now?

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careful what you wish for heh

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I just want bragging rights. 😉🤣

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im like you beggars cant be choosers lol

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Nov 21, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

As a retired librarian it's nice to hear from all the library fans out there. Most of my reading is done on library eBooks, but we still buy books--I can't say no to a used bookstore, or an author at a booth at the farmer's market or fair. Mr ThinkPiece is old school dead-tree books all the way. We did a massive weeding this summer, but we still are up there, numbers-wise.

So you're saying the AI image generators are at the same stage as the Amazon recommendations from 1999, when you'd buy a book and they'd recommend a frying pan? Sounds legit.

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Great analogy on the AI, TPOP!

Would love to hear more about your massive weeding strategy btw...purges seem to be a theme in lot of the comments and emails I'm getting.

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Nov 22, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Lot of my peers (the young-old) are talking about Swedish death cleaning.

We started weeding in prep for moving, tho did not move in the end. So it became what would and wouldn't be worth taking with us. And the discards went to a local annual book sale, like the farm that Mom and Dad said the stray dogs went to.

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PS I convinced hubby to give away at least half of his yellowed, binder-torn sci fi paperback collection from his childhood. They’re like pit stained t-shirts.

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Miraculous!

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The Z train. Were any of those interviewed proud Z train enthusiasts or slightly embarrassed to be seen on the train that might be the offspring of the Airtrain?

Ah NYC Book shelves. Hubby and I lived at the London Terrace apartments in Chelsea in the 80’s and we had too many books-- mostly plays, some doubled, because we were actors when we met. Hubby was also handy at carpentry and one slow summer hung plastic sheets, shielding the living room from wood dust and spent 3months blasting Gloria Estefan’s Into the Night album over and over while he created built-in bookshelves on either side of the windows. My mom was constantly asking, Is he done yet? Finally. Yes. He did a great job. We had plenty of space for our books, plays and Playbill collection but I could never listen to Gloria Estefan again.

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The offspring of the Airtrain! So funny CK!

That is an odd choice for a massive bookcase build. But worth it I'd say. Every apartment I've rented my adult life (with the exception of the place in Queens) has had built-in bookcases and they really are the best feature one could have in a home.

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We don’t see built in book shelves anymore especially with new construction.

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I have posted my unique prototype NYC Subway Cube complete with Line Z in view at https://paperbagstories.substack.com/p/another-diversion. I hope some of you find it of interest.

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And I got your email, too. The Z line is indeed prominently displayed. Thank you akaK!

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Dammit. I leave NY and now there’s a Z train. I say the MTA or whatever they call themselves these days should either make the Z the best train in the system or stop marginalizing THE LAST LETTER OF THE ALPHABET!

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LOL

Erika, maybe they could run the Z train between NYC and your home. What town are you in?

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It would be great if it did! I’m in a Kansas suburb of the greater Kansas City area. It would have to be one of those super speedster trains, or people would dread the long trek. Subway users often dread a sort trek, so who knows?

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Wow. Just wow. Between Despair Man being my new favorite terrible, mythopoetic superhero and the absolute WHIMSY of the A.I.'s alternate ending... melty-faced, surrealist AI-generated images notwithstanding... HOW on EARTH did ChatGpT come up with a squirrel-Mariachi band dance off for the ending??? This is something you ONLY dream of dreaming up while extremely high at 3am in the SNL writers' room... You almost want to ask the A.I., "Excuse me, but are you by any chance stoned off of your ass?" And, of course, it will say "No, it can't do that," but then you'd say, "Well then, walk us through how you just hallucinated that whole Kelly-Link-style ending. Because sheesh, already... that was something to behold!

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I had a similar reaction, AKJ! I know a little about how ChatGPT works, so I get how the mariachi band came in—there's probably many posts on the internet with tourists talking about the weird experience they had seeing a mariachi band on the NYC subway bc its actually pretty common. But then the squirrel and the pigeon dance-a-thon? WHAT? How does that follow?

Needless to say I was very pleased. Glad you enjoyed as well!

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Sorry, to be so late replying. I just woke up from multiple surgeries from nearly decapitating myself during a conference call (which you wouldn't think was possible, but it IS) but I've been Mariachi'ed on both the E and F trains, but I still marvel at the AI's ability to conjure up such rando whimsy? Pigeons, I can make the leap, but even the squirrels in central park aren't dancing these days. Not with Flaco on the loose. Speaking of which, where is Flaco in this narrative? Surely a chaos Muppet is required?

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Ms. Jones, another item on my to-do list is to launch a regular NYC Animal Update feature. NYC has the best animal stories!

And someday you will have to tell me more about this conference call near-decapitation.

Wishing you a speedy recovery. My God.

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Thank you! It's all set down in goofy detail in gotham girl, complete with doofus hospital admins, and how they crocheted my head back on with remarkable efficiency. :)

For Animal Updates, while I love the tender ministrations of the UWS bird rescue, I wonder sometimes if the Butterfly tent at the NHM gets its proper due. The girls and I went and it was like Tippi Hedren in The Birds--except without all the screaming and poor Suzanne Pleshette dying. Everyone should experience being a Butterfly wig at least once in their humdrum life. No?

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We need an article about "Despair Man". There must be a story there for sure.

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Wow okay now I have the BEST story idea! I am going to approach various New Yorkers in the park, at coffee shops, on the train who are in a state of obvious despair and ask them what's wrong. What do you think?

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Be careful Anne. The world is full of people trading on the despair of others. TV soaps do it big time to make their audiences feel better about themselves; that as miserable as their own lives seem, they find comfort in the fact that others are suffering more.

Your great strength has been taking seemingly down and out folk and helping us, your readers, marvel at what they do and how little it can take to turn a life around: a bicycle, a tiny apartment, space someone can call their own, someone who will listen.It can be patronising in the wrong hands - which is why your voice matters. The stories you tell are universal and remind me of what one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, said about where hope and help begin. It is with us, where we are and that is what I love about your New York - it always begins and ends on your corner. Keep it that way!❤️aka Kevin 🐰

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These are all great points, akaK. If I do anything along these lines I will of course have to take extra care.

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Looking forward to it. I am sure you will NOT have slim pickings finding desperate people in NYC, LOL!!

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"DANGER!!!! Will Robinson!!!"

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