Living in New York City is nice, because it affords relatively reliable mass transit, all-hours access to a wealth of tasty foods from many cultures and the opportunity to
The thing with encomiums to one's friends, though, is that they're invariably of more interest to the writer than the reader, unless that reader is a friend looking to see if he got mentioned -- yeah, you made it Alec, congratu-fucking-lations -- or to see if I said someone got fat or whatever. My remora-style ride on New York City's appeal has been good to me, insofar as it has afforded me access to the people I love most and many of the things that I love most. And that some of those people have left town... well, virtually anything can make me sad, and not having all of my friends around at all times (not in the bathroom) makes me sad, but this is one thing -- a rare thing, as regular readers know -- that I find I'm less torn up about as time goes by. There are plenty of other places to be and plenty of other places to be there. And anyway, even if everyone still lived in the city, I'd seldom see them because I don't have very much money or go out much, and because everyone else hates long subway rides, too -- it's only relatively effective mass transit, remember.
So do I wish that my friend Ben Polk still lived in New York City with his elegant beyonce Samantha Anders? Good question, the answer is yes I certainly do wish that. But I also know that they've both been happier in Minneapolis than they were here, and that their not being here probably has something to do with that happiness. Despite the proximity of inimitable me and open-late falafel and whatever, some people do just need to leave. I wouldn't wish them less happiness just so they could be around more often for me to have beers with.
The move has been especially good for Ben, I think, because it gave him an opportunity to grow a beard. But it also got him into writing about basketball, which is a good thing for everybody because Ben writes exceptionally well about basketball. He writes well about other things, too, but we'll stick to basketball for our purposes here, just as Ben does at his ESPN TrueHoop Network blog (tm) A Wolf Among Wolves. Ben writes about basketball the way that I hope I write about football -- with dense, serious sentences and a light, resolutely and healthily un-serious understanding of the game's importance, as well as with real empathy and perspective and intelligence. He's also not afraid to ask terrifying backup center Nikola Pekovic about his even more terrifying half-torso warriors-on-skullz tattoo, which is admirable.
Anyway, Ben got me a press credential for the Timberwolves/Knicks game at Madison Square Garden earlier this week, and while being there and working -- kind of working, really, but I didn't have any beers -- wasn't as fun as it would've been to be there with him and everyone else I love, it was fun to write about the game and the experience. I did just that for A Wolf Among Wolves, and I'm really happy with the way it came out, and really happy to have worked with/for a friend, and his very excellent website. So read that, if you want to read about the Knicks or Allen Houston's nephews or Amare Stoudemire's star power or what Michael Beasley whistles.