Douglas Adams on New York

From a conversation earlier I found the full text I was looking for (below the image)

Illustration for article titled Douglas Adams on New York

One of the extraordinary things about life is the sort of places

it’s prepared to put up with living. Anywhere it can get some

kind of a grip, whether it’s the intoxicating seas of Santraginus

V, where the fish never seem to care whatever the heck kind

of direction they swim in, the fire storms of Frastra where, they

say, life begins at 40,000 degrees, or just burrowing around in

the lower intestine of a rat for the sheer unadulterated hell of

it, life will always find a way of hanging on in somewhere.

It will even live in New York, though it’s hard to know why.

In the winter time the temperature falls well below the legal

minimum, or rather it would do if anybody had the common

sense to set a legal minimum. The last time anybody made a

list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers,

common sense snuck in at number 79.

In the summer it’s too darn hot. It’s one thing to be the sort

of life form that thrives on heat and finds, as the Frastrans do,

that the temperature range between 40,000 and 40,004 is very

equable, but it’s quite another to be the sort of animal that has

to wrap itself up in lots of other animals at one point in your

planet’s orbit, and then find, half an orbit later, that your skin’s


Spring is over-rated. A lot of the inhabitants of New York

will honk on mightily about the pleasures of spring, but if they

actually knew the first thing about the pleasures of spring they

would know of at least five thousand nine hundred and eighty-

three better places to spend it than New York, and that’s just

on the same latitude.

Fall, though, is the worst. Few things are worse than fall in

New York. Some of the things that live in the lower intestines of

rats would disagree, but most of the things that live in the lower

intestines of rats are highly disagreeable anyway, so their opinion

can and should be discounted. When it’s fall in New York, the air

smells as if someone’s been frying goats in it, and if you are keen

to breathe, the best plan is to open a window and stick your head

in a building.

IF you want to read the rest of this excellent book (in a horrible format) go here


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