New York vs. New Yorkrnby Bill Kauffimanrn”The feeling between this city and thernhayseeds.. .is every hit as hitter as thernfeelings between the North and Southrnbefore the War…. Why, I know a lot ofrnmen in my district who would like nothin’rnbetter than to go out gunnin for hayseeds.”rn— George Washington PlunkittrnTammany Hall, 1905rnChroniclesrnPlunkitt lived in the days before garbage scows, TawanarnBravvley, Nelson Rockefeller, radioactive waste, and therndecimation of local goxernment. In the Upstate-Downstaternmarriage, Plunkitt’s vas the Era of Good Feelings.rnSectioiral enmity in New York used to be ser’ed with a winkrnand a smile. They were slickers, we were applcknockers; theyrnwere swells, we were yokels. Stanley Walker of the New YorkrnHerald Tribune could call Upstaters “earthbound clodhoppers,rnwith inferiority complexes dating from a bohood passed inrnshoveling out the baruard,” and no great offense was taken.rnUpstaters knew their history back then; every sehoolchildrncould recite the glories of his region. We gave birth to women’srnsuffrage, the Liberty Party, Mormonism, .spiritualism, Anti-Masonry,rnand the Oneida community’. Mantics and kooks and isionariesrn—Jemima Wilkinson and the Fox Sisters and FrederickrnDouglass —took root in our soil. Shant)’ Irishmen built thernFrie Canal; Gerritt Smith bought John Brown his guns.rnAt the great junctures in American histor)’. Upstate had actedrnnobly, Downstate ignobly. Our patriots consecrated the Revolutionrnwith blood, while Tories and cowards sought haven inrnManhattan. After the war, Downstate money interests rammedrnthe new Constitution tlirough, over the protests of the fiirmersrnand artisans who had shoiddered the muskets. (The rustics possessedrna “zeal for liberty,” shuddered Federalist Richard Morris.)rnThe man’elous idea of divorce—of the two New Yorks-wasrnfirst adanced at our ratifing convention in 1788. Ten statesrnhad already assented to the Constitution, but New York, led byrndie “Rough Hewer,” shoemaker’s apprenhce Abraham Yates,rnJr., held out. Downstate Federalists resorted to threat: If NewrnYork did not ratify’, its largest cit)’ would split off and join thernBill Kauffman, hom in the cradle of Anti-Masonry, is author ofrnthe novel Eer’ Man a King. This article first appeared in thernJanuary 1991 issue.rnUnion anway. To our everlasting regret, several Upstate delegatesrncaved in, and we entered the United States as one.rnBy 1861, the Cit’ had turned disunionist. Unwilling to offendrn”our aggrieved brethren of die slae states,” doughfacernMayor Fernando Wood, a Breckinridge man, proposed to takernNew York City out of New York State —and the UnitedrnStates—and declare independence. No principle was involved,rnjust good old filthy lucre: Wood wanted to preser’e the Southernrntrade. Tpically, New York Citv hoped to profit from warrnwJiile aoiding Hie fighting.rnWood’s trial balloon yvas punctured, and over the next centur)’rnnot even William Randolph Hearst could set it aloft. Upstaternblocked Hearst from the governorship, as it did Ed Koch inrn1982, after hizzoner imprudently told Playboy: “This ruralrnAmerica thing—I’m telling you, ifs a joke.” Behind the pa.storalrnfai^ade lurked a truly nightmarish realih, almost DaidrnLynchian: “wasting time in a pickup truck when you have torndrive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears, Roebuck suit.”rnNot exactly Jackie Mason, but still, a pretty harmless jest.rnRural York, alas, had lost its sense of humor. Wc rejected Kochrnfor that agrarian knight, Mario Cuomo.rnGoernor Cuomo’s specchyyriters hae since beaten diern”family of New York” trope into tripe. How is an Elbarnonion farmer kin to Jackie Onassis or the Reverend Al Sharptonrnor Billy Joel? David Leavitt, Manhattan’s golden boy of lettersrn(and an NEA grantee, natch), looks beyond the Hudson andrnsees “a scrubbed, manicured neighborhood…. “Hie music is bvrnWayne Newton, die paintings are by Norman Rockwell, andrnsex takes place only behveen married men and women in bedsrnat night.”rnThe details are all wrong, of course, except maybe for NormanrnRockwell and the bed, but that’s to be expected of Leavitt,rnwho knows less about the real .America than I do about thernnighdife of subsidized Bohemians and trust-fund trash. Norn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn