Funny how within the week I come across two entirely separate pieces about nostalgia. The first was when Hayao Miyazaki gave a press conference and spoke intelligently, if ambivalently, about nostalgia for the past. The other was a Roger Cohen column in the Times where he talked about how the Paris he remembered from decades past is preserved in the essentially unchanged Havana of the present.
The Cohen column was wonderfully written, but I hated the fact that its moral geography seemed to consist of little more than "old = good, new = bad", with no room for graceful compromise between. Most of the comments on Roger's piece were downright hagiographic, but every now and then someone cut through and said something a little more acerbic, like the fellow who noted that it's always easy to feel nostalgic for the good old days when you don't have to actually live there.
I don't like the way a lot of New York City has been homogenized, either. I don't mind it being sanitized, but I do mind it being homogenized. The two aren't the same, and it doesn't help either old or new when they're conflated so freely.