Slightly Late Tuesday Questions: “Tough Guy” Edition
“Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?” is one of many questions that New York Magazine’s Daily Intel blog likes to ask New York celebrities/residents as part of their weeklyish 21 questions feature.
The answer is almost always “old Times Square” and the reasoning is almost always the same. The old Times Square had “character” or was “exciting” and the New Times Square is basically Disney World (this part is true).
I dislike this question. Partially because it is a false dichotomy. You can dislike the old Times Square and the New Times Square for different but equal reasons.
Secondly, it always struck me as odd that an area that was known for danger, crime, drug-dealing, prostitution and pimping is fondly remembered for its “character”. There is a certain kind of middle-aged, upper-middle class guy nostalgia that bugs me and it is a kind of nostalgia that proclaims that someone has not really lived unless they lived during the bad old days. I think of this as comfortable middle-aged guys (they are almost always guys) thinking that they are or were tough. I don’t understand why it is a badge of honor to be mugged, jumped on a subway, burgled, etc.
So what is your favorite or least favorite variant of a “tough guy” questions?