I am guessing what has rendered me more New York Chinatown (crowded and annoying) than San Francisco Chinatown (unique and cheeky), is the sick realization that I am deep-down-inside, a Los Angeles Chinatown (flashy but unenterprising).
Nothing's more offensive to a New Yorker than to be accused of seeming "LA-y."
I'm rehabilitating my ego. Mind you, a rehabilitation assumes nothing more than that something has always thrived in its natural circumstances but may have been handicapped by external forces: aforementioned toxic air for example, or... private tragedy, public trauma, illness, cheap tampons...
My recovery is going to be simple, as the absence of two things glare back at me when I assess the damage I cause myself when whining out of my pajama sweats (designated attire for whining):
Consider this a template.
All of us have an innate talent. Granted, some of you have utterly useless talents, they can all be boiled down to one action. I don't claim to be a good writer, but it's something I can do... confidently.
The big reveal is that I haven't been writing. This is the kind of absenteeism that'll turn math professors into Unabombers. Do what you're good at and you won't ever find yourself wrapping explosives kraft paper and string out of a wood shed in Montana. Or in my case, eating leftover potatoes from a diner in an unlit bedroom watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, while stroking a gun.
INRE: Number 2. Lists.
All of us have our own system of discipline. For some people it's assistants. For others, it's a wife. For me, it's personalized lists. To Do lists, Top Ten lists, shopping lists, a roll call of corporate indigents, cast members of my NAMBLA TV show "How I Met Your Son"... I take real joy in my lists.
Make your discipline joyful.