Hey, have you tried to walk down Third Avenue above St. Mark's lately? I say "tried to" because it is almost impossible. The strip is swarmed with seventeen year olds, walking six abreast on the sidewalk and talking very loudly about, usually, Facebook or dialectical materialism. Or, if it's late at night, being comically caricature-of-drunk. Or, if it's early in the day, walking a few steps ahead of their parents who are carrying their boxes, as if this will trick passerby into thinking that they and the older people who look just like them are unrelated strangers. Like the first rubescent leaves in Tompkins Square Park, the NYU hordes are an early harbinger of Fall in the East Village. Unlike the leaves, however, they are so fucking annoying.
But maybe they just annoy those of us who, ahem, used to be them? I asked a few other grown-ups (ha!) who went to school in the city (Eugene Lang represent! Or, more accurately, Eugene Lang deconstruct!) how they feel about the onslaught of youth, and the memories these fresh faces stir.
"Well I feel like it's kind of like they're tadpoles and we're frogs," says one lady (Lang '04). "Like, frogs lay a lot of eggs, and so a ton of tadpoles hatch. And a bunch of them get eaten by fish. The people who still live here after graduation are the ones who made it to the frog stage." Uh huh. Or the tadpoles' parents are paying the tadpoles' rent!
A more recent grad (NYU '06) is a tad more negative. "NYU kids are the cancer on the bosom of the LES. I really don't need to see another drunk kid sporting a jewfro a dumbass A&F shirt with the collar predictably popped as he leans on his other dumbass friend that still hasn't gotten rid of his teenage acne." Do they, uh, remind him of a previous version of himself? "No, they don't thank god." Riiiiight.
A second former NYU kid weighs in. "Haha, I haven't noticed them, as a rule I try and stay off Third Avenue." Words to live by.