Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


The Karl Kraus of Killeen? Roy Edroso Headed for Texas

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , ,

Jonathan Taylor writes:

I'd call him the Wolcott of Williamsburg, but even better to note that anyone writing, on or off the Internet, would do well to aspire to be the Edroso of their environs. Roy Edroso of Alicublog and the Village Voiceprofiler of Emdashes, tormentor of conservative bloggers who can't keep up—announces the imminent shift of his operations to Texas, into the arms of a "girlfriend." I'll just pretend it's Jerry Hall, in light of the way Edroso has lived the life of New York:

More to the point, New York has been my home. It hasn't always been an easy place to live, but if I was ever bored it was my own fault. Here I've been chased by cops in the Tompkins Square riot, and heard Allen Ginsburg [Yeah, yeah, Ginsburg, schminzberg] read poetry there some days after ("Look, I'm wearing a tie -- am I a yuppie?"); fretted with my Williamsburg neighbors as the ruins of the Twin Towers smoked on the horizon; walked over the Williamsburg Bridge during a blackout; spilled a giant thug's beer in a basement after-hours, apologetically bought him a new one, and been rewarded with fat lines of coke; read poetry at St. Mark's Church; played CBGB so many times I forgot it was a shrine; been advised by Jimmy Breslin on how to talk to cops, handed a flyer by Jean-Michel Basquiat, advised on my music career by Lieber and Stoller, given a tour of Terry Teachout's art collection, yelled at by Hilly Kristal and several members of the NYPD. And at the Voice I held a desk next to Tom Robbins. Everywhere I met remarkable people, because this is one of the places they like to be, and saw and did remarkable things, because here they happen all the time.

Of course, New York is the most provincial city of all. So often it "dulls the mind and blunts the instrument" (PDF, and worth it) by convincing that it doesn't. Like those fat lines, it gives a foolproof high by making you want only one thing—it. Edroso doesn't say exactly where he's going—giving pursuers a lot of ground to cover—but I'll say the advantage of being anyplace that's not "the capital of everywhere" is that the smart people, by definition, have to be interested in the wider world. They should be in the capital, too, yet so many aren't—and, in truth, aren't exactly too searching about the capital either.

But Edroso is right about the remarkable people and things, of course, because he is one. And you can tell he has made the most of his New York days, because he's so cold-eyed about the city, he easily laps its suburban would-be ill-wishers.


Thanks, Jonathan, that was kind.

Bryan, by the way. If you’re down by the Brazos I hope you’ll drop in.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, it may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Thanks for waiting.)

2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree