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Big Apple vs. Big Mango

Turns out we’re not so different after all. Ex-Brooklynite Colin Cheney offers some analogs.

New York: Donald Trump

Bangkok: Thaksin Shinawatra
The populist billionaire and exiled prime minister “looms large in the cultural imagination. He’s a Donald Trump mixed with a Sarah Palin.”

New York: Bike-Lane Wars

Bangkok: Sidewalk Wars
They’re filled with everything besides pedestrians: “Fruit sellers, orange-juice-makers, guys grilling sausages. Motorcycle taxis will drive right down the center in the wrong direction. It’s transcended annoyance—you just become accustomed to it.”

New York: Prestigious, Land-Grabbing University (NYU, Columbia)

Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University
Busily redeveloping its surroundings—and demolishing older shops. “Metastasizing is the right word for it.”

New York: Mayor Bloomberg

Bangkok: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
Younger than Mayor Mike, but a powerful (and controversial) technocrat in his own right.

New York: Food Trucks

Bangkok: Pop-Up Bars
“Sometimes pushcarts, sometimes motorcycles, occasionally a modified VW Beetle or truck (as seen above), they can be found roving around the city until the sun comes up.”

New York: St. Marks Place

Bangkok: Khaosan Road
The backpacker district. “You’ll probably find the same T-shirts.”


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