I adore New York City. I love folding a slice of reheated pizza in half and eating it on the uncrowded subway in the middle of the night because I’ve stayed too late at work. I love the transvestite who loudly discusses the people who body-checked her on the way into the bodega as though they were in Connecticut. I love the poor, who hate the tired, who can put up with almost anything except the huddled masses yearning to be free, and the guy at the bar who tells me my generation is entitled and then has to hear about how he voted twice for Ronald Reagan and grabs the waiter before he gives me the wrong drink and says, “Hey, I know he’s a Democrat but he can’t take everything.” I love the digital readouts on the new subway and the thermonuclear shaking on the old subway when I’m trying to get to my best friend’s apartment in Bed Stuy where he lives with his sweet, tired nurse wife and his redheaded two-year-old who hugs my leg calls me Uncle Sam. I love being held here by the train’s dispatcher. I love the Change.org petition to keep our bagel guy employed. I love the nasty lies in the New York Post and the courtly euphemisms in the New York Times and I love the third-grade teacher sitting in her maxi dress next to the green-haired call girl in patterned stockings on the subway. I love the American experiment, distilled in a beaker of irritation and rent control and annual bonuses that send you to a place where you stay until you realize that you can’t order Sichuan food at 11:30 like a goddamn human being and scurry back to the city, blackened by soot and exhaust and kept afloat and solvent by strategic trees and insider trading, spinning violently against the wind and despite entropy, chaos and the darkness.