This is the last thing I need to be doing right now. It’s early, I can’t sleep and I’ve got a zillion pages to write in the next 72 hours. But in the tradition I started back in 2004, I have to create a mixtape every time I go to New York. A lot of these tend to have a fair amount of carry over since there are certain songs about New York I’ll always love, but this time I tried to keep it pretty simple.
Even though I never lived there, New York has always felt like home to me. I remember taking a lot of pride in a college friend remarking that I “took to New York like a hamster does to a wheel” since my sister and I had to learn exactly how MTA worked in an age before Google Maps.
I didn’t intend for this one to basically be all about how lonely New York is, but looking at the tracklist, I realize a lot of my love for these songs came out of my understanding of big cities. They’re great, but they’re also incredibly lonely places at times. When I moved to San Francisco, I didn’t know a single soul and had to learn how to talk to strangers again. As time developed, I found my own community, but as communities so often do, they dissolved over time as its members fly off to different parts of the world, with many landing back in New York. To state the obvious, this mixtape is as much about New York as it is about first moving to San Francisco.
PS: Yeah that last song is definitely about 9/11. Sorry.