Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, released in November 1992, a year before Dinkins would lose reelection to Rudy Giuliani, serendipitously predicted the last several electoral terms of New York City history, outlining how we’ve moved from more than a decade of Bloomberg into the upcoming de Blasio era. Kevin is our moral guide through this transformation, his New York odyssey an allegory for the Bloombergite who comes to reject at least parts of that man’s gilded city and embrace the city’s underclass.
When Kevin first arrives in New York, he’s Bloomberg’s ideal: a tourist staying in luxury accommodations (the Plaza Hotel), using luxury transportation (a white stretch limousine) to travel to luxury retail (Duncan’s Toy Chest), whose owner is sort of like a Bloomberg stand-in: a man so wealthy he can spread it around charitably, but who, like the hypocrites about whom Jesus warns us, has to let everyone know about it.
But this fantasy of the city soon sours: as soon as Kevin steps out of these Green Zones and into the street, dawdling at a corner for mere moments, he’s attacked by his old arch-nemeses: career criminals, the sort Joe Lhota warned us about. Fleeing to his hotel, he’s attacked by the staff there, too, learning that there’s a darkside to the unfettered prosperity such Bloombergian places advertise—soon they will no longer have a place for you, either! He escapes into a Bloombergite’s anti-de Blasio nightmare, a Central Park West occupied by hoods and hookers and horrifying hacks, navigating deeper into the id of the de Blasio city: the trails of Central Park, wherein he learns it’s actually not so scary, that the “crazy” birdlady who embodies his darkest fears is actually friendly and helpful, worthy ultimately of The Other Turtledove, Kevin’s token of bestiehood. (An unspoken sadness underlying the two Home Alone films: doesn’t Kevin have any friends? He’s unloosed in New York with a blank check, and there’s no one back home he could think to call?)
As such, Home Alone 2 is like a coming-of-age tale: how I learned to stop worrying and love a progressive New York. It’s not that Kevin befriends the criminal class: indeed, he once again vanquishes those who would thieve. His lesson is that the disenfranchised and (almost literally) voiceless of the city are better companions than those sniveling servants of the rich.
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