Yesterday, Arianna’s namesake, the Huffington Post, and its writer Mark Brennan Rosenberg published a charming little piece titled ’10 Reasons NYC Isn’t as Great as You Think It Is.’
It set the citywide-web ablaze.
Well, sir, every good argument deserves a rebuttal.
10 Reasons NYC Is Even Better Than You Think It Is
Is shit. Most of the year. You know what that means? We appreciate the few weeks of perfect weather that we get on either end of the shit weather all the more. A perfect day in The City is like no perfect day anywhere else. I don’t care if you got shat on by a pigeon that morning or your boyfriend dumped you that afternoon, a stroll through Central Park on a perfect Spring Day will change your outlook on the world.
It’s the best place to be if you’re having a good day…
Everything is amplified in New York. Everything. The sounds are louder, the smells more acrid or more harmonious, the sights more startling. And so are the pleasures. A good day in The City is unlike a good day anywhere else. Filled with microscopic delights – the perfectly timed subway transfer, skipping the morning coffee rush because it’s your bodega and they know you, being stopped on the street and photographed for a street style blog (it doesn’t matter which one) – and monumental ones – nailing the big pitch and knowing it, finally touching hands with the girl (or guy) who always gets one Fuji Apple, one navel orange and one head of swiss chard at the Lower East Side Whole Foods, falling in love. A good day in New York is like no good day anywhere else, because everything in New York is magnified, compressed, intensified.
The Stereotypes Are True
Yes, The City is dirty. And loud. And occasionally smelly, and crowded, and non-stop. And the people are self-involved. But they’re also gorgeous. Gorgeous. And well-dressed. And smart, and driven, and interested in the arts, and often times creative, and sociable. They have to be; our apartments are too small to not know how to socialize and it’s too hard to afford living here if you’re not all the other things. And it really is the center of the known universe. Any industry you could want to work in, any cuisine, any aesthetic, any form of art, it’s all here. The bagels really are better, and so is the pizza. So yes, The City is dirty. But it’s also all of the other things you’ve ever heard about it, too. And that’s pretty damn cool.
You get intimately involved in strangers’ lives
Who doesn’t want to know about a guy who impregnated his girlfriend’s sister? Or a power broker threatening to chop the balls off another human being if he doesn’t ‘get the deal done.’ I mean you don’t even have to be a student of the human condition to learn all about it if you live in New York. It surrounds you. It invades your every sense, at every moment. We are a smelly, vulgar, crass, cruel, emotionally unstable, beautiful, kind, mercurial species, and if you don’t know or didn’t know, walk around New York without headphones for a few days. You’ll learn.
You might not be able to find love here, but that’s ok, because The City is all the emotional tumult you’ll ever need.
New York will make you feel more than you ever imagined you could. She’ll make you cry harder than you’ve ever cried and be overwhelmed with pleasure like you never have before. She’ll give you more memories, more stories, more crap nights and more perfect moments than any person is even capable of giving. Ever imagine that your life is a movie, with cameras following your every move, every moment playing out cinematically in front of you, as though you’re simply a bystander, witnessing the wonder of it all? Well in New york, it really is. Who needs love when you have all that?
Everyone’s an artist, everyone has a story…
And isn’t that wonderful? Would you rather be surrounded by dull, apathetic zombies or people who want you and everyone else to not only hear but listen to what they have to say, to marvel at their accomplishments, their creativity, their ingenuity.
That’s what I thought.
It’s the land of titular slashes
In New York, nothing is as it seems. A blogger is a photographer is a writer is a model. A comedian is an actor is a bartender. A banker, even, (I know) might be the lead guitar of a Motorhead tribute band. Is this a product of a generation, or a city? The point is this – even if you’re the most narcissistic egomaniac out there, you have to take the time to at least try and get to know everyone you meet in New York because everyone here is something.
The people are all New Yorkers
This point is likely to draw the ire of much of The City’s true locals, the people who have lived and breathed New York for as long as they’ve lived and breathed, but it’s truly what I believe. The question that so many New Yorkers have asked before us and I often times ask myself is ‘does New York create New Yorkers or are New Yorkers simply drawn to New York?’ Now… if you live in New York, you almost certainly know what I mean when I say ‘New Yorkers.’ I don’t actually mean people from The City, I mean a grander archetype – the person I’ve been describing for most of the piece – the driven, sharp, motivated, inspired individual who is always on the hustle, always looking to know more, learn more, do more.
And in this city, everyone is a New Yorker… in that sense.
Quality of life is overrated
That’s right. Overrated. I said it. Who needs a beach and the sun and freshly caught fish when you can have the stench of another man’s armpit in your face on a crowded subway or the gentle aroma of fresh bum-urine on your doorstep. That will wake you up in the morning.
Quality of life is for later in life. For the meek, the old, the tired. For those who have already lived, already witnessed, already experienced. For those who want comfort and shade and rest and pedantic normalcy. For those who run tepid.
But if you run hot, New York is for you. For the young and the hungry. The alphas. For those who want to howl at the moon and party all night and coo at the rising sun on a rooftop by the river and then, after everyone else has faded off and it’s only them and the realities of the coming hours, drink their $13 smoothie and work their 14-hour day.
Because New York isn’t about quality of life.
It’s about life. Period.
And finally, we’re in New York.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you live here. Or you live in LA and secretly wished you lived here. As I said, we’re a self-interested people.
The opening to Woody Allen’s Manhattan features his protagonist, Isaac, narrating through a series of potential opening lines for his novel, all about New York, over beautiful black-and-white photography of The City with George Gershwin serving as the musical backdrop. As the music comes to its climax, he finally lands on the line he likes best, and the photography cuts to fireworks exploding over The Hudson.
He says: ‘New York was his town, and it always would be.’
And that’s that.