I love "Captain Jack."
I know it's about using smack, but it makes me feel like I'm in a smoky, dark wood-paneled bar with ornate brass fixtures somewhere below 14th Street. Except it will no longer be smoky, and I probably can't afford a place just below 14th Street. That's why this has to happen in 1973, when the song appeared on Piano Man.
I wonder if the line
"I did go from wanting to be someone
Now I'm drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue"
from Rufus Wainwright's "Poses"
is an homage to Billy's
"So you stand on the corner in your New English clothes
and you look so polished from your hair down to your toes
Ah but still your fingers gonna pick your nose"
...if only for the dawning thought in both, found on the most street cornery of cities, that what you want can ultimately, insiduously, consume what it is you want.
I wish I was going to New York this summer. It's time to find that mythic place in the Village and stare dreamily out a cab window at 4 am thinking "I'm in a New York State of Mind."