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AGEISM - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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AGEISM

Mind the Age Gap


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true romanceMichelle Rick

You notice them everywhere in Manhattan, but perhaps particularly in a slightly out-of-the-way neighborhood such as the East Village — middle-aged or older New Yorkers who look as if they have remained in the city that doesn’t sleep way past the limits of insomnia or common sense.

They seem a little lost in this International House of Cupcakes, among i-Stoned youth, galvanized immigrants, packed bars, and cafés where the music is always played at a volume whose message might as well be posted on a notice board outside — Adults Permitted, But Youth Preferred.

Aging is a delicate, unrewarding business at best, and some people — as a result of genes, outlook, resolution, and money — manage it better than others. To judge by the relative lack of oldsters in the East Village (anyone over 40 is a rarity on the streets after 9 p.m., and most of those are either homeless, comatose, or possibly dead), it’s obvious that this is one of the more trying places in which to grow old. Those who hang on must also confront the irony of living in an era in which they are constantly scolded that it is within their power to remain “young,” while being made to feel ancient almost all the time.
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