Just to be clear and to cut off any criticism from the haters (are we still saying haters?) New York is a wonderful city. It’s full of great opportunity and thousands, if not millions, of talented people. I’ve met numerous artists who are great at what they do and great overall people. I’ve had wonderful experiences in this city, and I will always have love for it. I’d like to add that everyone here is fucking insane, and we should all get out before it’s too late. There’s a reason that every apocalyptic movie has a scene where New York is smashed into oblivion. This place is hell on earth and you’re all fools for living here. Without hyperbole, this city just isn’t for me, but I understand why you guys love it. Really this article is about why I’m getting out. Seriously though, fuck this place. Just kidding but seriously kidding. As always this article includes massive generalizations and oversimplification.
Everyone is Trying to Get All the Things: I’ve spent time in a lot of cities, and of course everyone is trying to accomplish their goals. There’s no problem with having drive and a sense of determination; it’s kind of necessary in the current era. The thing about New York is, people don’t want to just be successful, they want to be the most successful. Maybe it’s because a lot of our greatest artistic accomplishments have come from this city. Maybe it’s humongous amount of people, but there is a sense of competition that rivals no other American city. Status is everything and since status is relative everyone is an enemy. I’m not saying that all people have this mentality, or that even most do, but there is a definite feeling of it. In all honesty, I’m sure that everyone in this city is capable of murder if it came down to it. Like, that no hesitation stabbing while looking into your eyes kind of shit.
This Place is a Goddamn Prison: New York is immense. Part of its allure is that with each couple of blocks there’s a new world. It could be another country, another income bracket, hell even another dimension (Fucking Chelsea) there’s just so much. It’s that infinite nature of the city that causes you to feel trapped. I could keep running and running and biking and running and biking and riding and never get out. If you have money you can take trips to Vermont or upstate, but who the fuck has money? Even if you get out, and that’s a huge if, you can’t get back in. It’s like 15-25 dollars in tolls just to come back. You can take a bus for cheap, but fuck busses. If you’re willing to pay the price and take a trip it’ll have to be a decent length away, because there are a dozen smaller cities surrounding this one.
You are Alone: You aren’t from New York. Some of you are actually from New York (you guys are champs man and hard as bone), but chances are if you’re reading this art/culture blog in New York you probably live in Bushwick, Williamsburg, or the Lower East Side. You came here from another city or some small town, and you have no roots besides that one friend from back home that moved here a year ago. The one that never returns your calls. For a while, sometimes a pretty long while, you’re going to be alone. If you’re a social little fuck you might make all kinds of friends but they’ll change every 6 months. The show Friends was a fucking lie, fuck those people. Maybe if you stick around long enough friends happen, but I’ve never lasted that long.
Disclaimer: I’m incredibly reclusive and this is probably all my fault. The thing is every other time I’ve moved; a group of friends appears like deers in the middle of the road. Friends here require effort and time; two things that I’m not particularly known for.
Dating is Weird: There are just too many options here. Some of the most beautiful, charming, and intelligent women live in this city. The problem is that this holds true for both genders. That sense of small town settling isn’t alive in NYC. Everyone is dating thousands of people trying to figure out what the hell is going on and pretending to commit for a couple of weeks at a time. The other problem is the lack of time to chill and get to know people. Everyone is busy, really fucking busy. Three jobs, one passion, and 4 bands busy. Dating is a coked up race to the finish, and the finish line is red tape that keeps moving forward till you give up and buy a hooker.
EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING, IS FUCKING EXPENSIVE: This is a belabored point, that is repeated ad nauseum till your ears and rectum bleed from the monotony. The real problem isn’t just the price though, it’s the learned helplessness that everyone shares. We all come to accept 12 dollar cigarettes and 8 dollar drinks because that’s just how things are. Shitty apartments should be 900 dollars because that’s life. We forget what disposable income was, and just move into this constant game of catch up that few are able to beat. My friends, there are worlds out there full of 2 dollar beers, 5 dollar cigarettes and 300 dollar rents. One job type places, as far as the eye can see.
So, I beg of you, stay in your local artistic oasis. Stay with your friends and build a life outside of this place of torment. You won’t listen to me and you’re sure to move here to make something of yourself. The truth is most cities can’t compare to this one and for all of its faults it is an amazing place. One that I will come back to one day.
Philly, I’m coming for ya.