I hadn't been to New York in a while because I had been avoiding my literary agent who expected a manuscript. So going from my island, land of orcas, trees and fog, to my old island, land of traffic, people and big buildings, was a reentry into contemporary life. A few observations on cultural changes since 2007:
1. More beeping, less chatting:
Many more single beeps around, signaling the turn of lights or the readiness of a bagel, but far less public chatting on cell phones. A great thing about texting! All those teeth-meltingly tiresome overheard conversations on the bus now relegated to the keyboard. Lovely.
2. Anyone who thinks he is in the fashion business is actually in the jeans business and must accept his fate.
3. The nasal labial fold is a thing of the past. In the last two years, the usage of facial fillers has hit my business contacts.
4. Light blue is the new white for teeth. Scary when you don't expect it.
5. Bookstores have more tables and fewer books. Hardcover books sport newsprint pages. Vampires rule the racks. And books about green eating. And about how not to look old.
6. A lot of old people are going around with chopped bangs and low-rise jeans and big belts, squinting to see the tiny type on their ipod touch and looking pathetic. Luckily, their corns keep them from sporting gladiator sandals.