Dear AM New York,

From: Jordan Knol
To: AM New York
Date: Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 9:50 AM
Subject: We need some time apart.

Dear AM New York,

It's funny - as I type this, and can almost hear Homer Simpson's voice reading it out loud as he complains about some inane thing ("Dear Die Hard...").  Perhaps that should be my cue to stop writing.  I should.  I should stop writing this and go outside and enjoy my day, recognizing the things in my life I can't control.

However, I feel like our relationship has faltered of late, AMNY, and, as communication and honesty are the cornerstones of any good relationship, I think we need to have a talk.

When we first met, I had moved from Washington DC where I was seeing the daily circular there called "The Express".  We had experienced a passionate relationship and I looked forward to our daily visits.  At first, upon arriving to the Big Apple, you were an adequate replacement.  You had a similar sense of humor, and offered a more "Human" touch than your buddy, NY Metro (who, understandably, I think we both sort of view as your slutty cousin).  We had many fine mornings, you and I... you would make me laugh, inform me about important news, and offer me puzzles to get my mind off my commute or whatever was happening to me that day.  Let's face it:  New York is not always an easy city in which to live... you offered me some respite, and for that, I say thank you.

But you've changed.  Slowly, over time, your puzzles and news got dumbed down, as if created for someone else.  The photo captions and entertainment sections have become mean-spirited and snarky, as if written by a half dozen Brooklyn hipsters, each smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and wearing skinnier jeans than the one next to him.  The new weather captions, while at times funny, are also critical and mean, and make you look like you're trying a little too hard to be "cool", like my parents.  You've begun to sport a "new look" which, as far as I can tell, was meant only to get people to pay more to advertise in you.  Now when I spread you open it's no longer the lovely individual attention I used to feel.... it's this numb, stupid version of you.  You've become like the worst kind of sorority girl, the kind who doesn't need to say much but dresses in bright colors and stays stupid and sometimes mean and still gets whatever she wants.  She is also never wrong, which is a big part of the problem we're having lately.

I understand your most recent makeover, I think.  Everyone should do something nice for themselves.  But you took away KenKen, something I thought we enjoyed doing together.  When I complained, you mentioned the few other people that did and offered me a tiny version of our puzzle, far away from it's old home, accompanied by the comment, "Next time ask for something bigger".  Well, okay, I'm asking for something bigger.  I'm asking for it the way it was (literally "bigger").

Another example of how you've changed lately:  You repeat yourself!  I don't mind when it's an on-going news item that bears repeating, or some background to put whatever today's events were in context, but this is just boastful.  Let me ask you: is Judah Friedlander a reader of AMNY?  I bet he is - you've reminded me of that a half dozen times in the last month.  I'm happy that a C-List celebrity likes you, but please stop bringing it up just to puff yourself up and feel more important.  Many celebrities share a lovely relationship with you, I'm sure.  But you used to be demure about it, as opposed to thinking it made you look more "cool" by dropping a name.  (Side note:  Really?  Judah Friedlander?  Guys - he's ok, not great.  Because you're on the fringe of what's considered "hip", you should know this by now.)

Lastly, we need to talk about your website.  You need to start representing yourself more professionally.  The way it is now, you look like a blog.  While I'm sure this cuts down on Web costs, it also makes you appear low-rent, and it's tough to get through to you.  This only hinders our communication as opposed to enhancing it, and I'm sure many of your other companions feel the same way.

Look, Sweetheart, I know you see other people.  Lots of other people.  But you used to have this unique way of making it SOUND like sometimes it was only me and you.  Lately, you've been sterile, inaffectionate, and, at times, dimwitted.  Do I think this conversation will change you?  I do not.  I know from experience I cannot change others, and I won't try.  All I can do is express to you my disappointment, and let you know that if I occasionally visit your "cousin", Metro, from here on in, it isn't because I don't love you.  It's simply because sometimes I need to take a step back and observe who you've become from afar for awhile.  It pains me to say this, but you are no longer impressive.

I hope you understand.  I hope this message has been able to sink in on some level.  I know that one day you will evolve into something great, and everyone experiences "growing pains".  I can only pray that this is a phase you're going through, and one day you'll be able to look back at yourself and go, "Hey - I so young and stupid then... I've come a long way."

Until then, I'm going to start keeping my distance probably won't visit you as often.  Again, I hope you understand.  I can only change MY behaviours, and that's what I have to do.

Love always,

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