Jeremy Hobson: Well this show -- The Marketplace Morning Report -- is based on Los Angeles but let's face it: a good amount of the business news we cover happens in New York. Makes sense -- it's the financial center of the country, the media center of the country, and a major global center for fashion, art, food, you name it.
But -- Avery Monson still feels relatively neutral. In fact, he's the co-author of a new book called I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York.
Avery Monson, good morning.
Avery Monsen: Good morning, thanks for having me.
Hobson: Well thanks for being here. This is Marketplace, Avery, so let's start with Wall Street -- you're not very impressed with it.
Monsen: I mean, you go around there and it looks like a lot of guys that played villains in '80s movies.
Hobson: What about the Empire State Building? It's the tallest building in New York -- why would you be neutral about that?
Monsen: The Empire State Building is very tall, but it's also only the 16th tallest building in the world. Which is like, that's pretty good. Can you name me the 16th fastest runner in the world? You can't. There's every chance that I am the 16th fastest runner in the world because no one knows who that is.
Hobson: But if New York is just OK, as you write, then why do you think so many people decide to live there or visit there?
Monsen: I think that New York has this sort of larger than life mythology surrounding it, which is actually just sort of a nice way of saying that it's totally in love with itself. I mean, it's a really great city -- there's a lot of legitimately great things to see and do in New York. But at the same time, a lot of those great things are covered in urine or very crowded.
Hobson: Is there anything that you really just love about New York, no questions asked, you're not neutral about it -- you just love it?
Monsen: There is this place, this falafel place in Williamsburg in Brooklyn that has falafels for like $3, and if you don't like a $3 falafel, you're out of your mind. I give that 100 percent thumbs up.
Hobson: Avery Monsen, co-author of the new book I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York. Thank you so much for your time this morning.
Monsen: Thanks for having me.