Added 5 years later: The inexplicably high ranking search engines give this little rant has led to a lot of comments below, including some excellent rebuttals to my original points. There are also a lot of people adding their own complaints about the city that never sleeps. All comments are welcome, but overall I find the ones who disagree with me to be more interesting, and a few are worth digging up and reading. There are definitely some things to love about the city. My favorite comments of all, however, are the ones on both sides of the fence that hide their whiny, entitled attitude behind foul language, apparently unaware of the irony.
Recently the quality of comments has been so low that I’ve considered not allowing any more of them. Semi-literate ravers, please don’t bother anymore. There’s already plenty of barely-coherent blather on both sides.
Anyway, on with the original episode:
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In the unlikely event there are two New Yorkers capable of mounting a meaningful defense of their home city, I’ll publish them both. More than two, either I’ll pick the one hardest for me to rebut, or I’ll figure out a way to let the polls decide. Messages of the form “F%*$ you, you f^%#ing f$^*!” will just add to my smug belief that I am better than you are and will be deleted and mocked.
I have for a couple of years now held the opinion that New York City is filled with victims and crybabies. Everyone knew already that the city was filled with arrogant assholes.
To start with the arrogant assholes, here’s a case in point. Tonight I was sitting in a bar, and at the next table was a pair of Yankees fans. Yankees were playing the Bosox, a game with history and significance. You would expect a Yankees fan to be passionate about such a game, and these guys were. I’m OK with that. That’s why God made baseball. That’s why Steinbrenner bought it from Him.
I overheard part of their conversation early. “They’re still talking about ’98 here. Was it ’98? The Yankees humiliated them. It was a sweep.” Now, I don’t know if it was ’98 or ’96, and yes, the Yankees did completely dominate the Padres. It was a sweep. But that year San Diego won the pennant. When dad buys you a pennant every year, that may not seem so special. But when you earn it, doesn’t it mean so much more? No point explaining that to a Yankees fan.
And that’s what New Yorkers just don’t seem to understand. They seem to believe that simply being from the hive is enough to entitle them to all the respect the world has to offer. Later, the New York fans were outraged among themselves when the best TV was switched over to the Padres game. There was still a TV right in front of them carrying their game, but it wasn’t Hi-Def. “What the f@%& are they doing showing the Padres game?” one NYB asked the other (B is for bastard). Had the man been grandstanding, trying to get a rise out of the other people in the bar, I would have simply labeled him as an asshole and shrugged it off. But the simple fact was that as a New Yorker he expected to get his game on the hi-def TV. He was entitled.
New York is inexplicably proud of being a bunch of arrogant assholes. They call it “street smart” and other transparent euphemisms. When I passed through New York I was not prepared for the incessant whining and victim attitude.
I was passing from Aruba to San Diego, and because I’m a cheap bastard my return flight included a sleepover in New York. No problem, I figured. I’d just find a less-uncomfortable place to crash at JFK. Best case, I find a bar and just hang out all night. It was a naive notion, I now realize.
My first welcome as I came off the plane set the tone for my stay in the city that never sleeps. “Did you see what he just did to me?” I heard an angry woman behind me say. We made our way to an escalator and I tell you now I have never seen such concentrated uncivilized behavior. Poor little Jerry was pushed aside and every time I said, “Oh, I’m sorry” as I was shoved into someone else I was answered with “eat me” or something worse. “Screw the other guy before he screws you” was the rule of the day.
The airport was closing. There would be no crashing in the terminal, no all-nigher in the bar. The bartender was terribly appologetic. I called a hotel and they said the shuttle would be right over. It was a cold night, freezing rain, and I was in shorts. People were not looking at me with sympathy as I stood waiting for the shuttle; they were looking at me with suspicion. I watched two old men get into a fist fight over a taxi. I shook my head. The cold rain on my legs hurt far less than the anger all around me hurt my poor west-coast brain.
It turns out the signs telling me to wait for a hotel shuttle did not direct me to the place hotel shuttles were going. After freezing my ass off (proudly, stoically, without whining) I tromped back to the terminal and called the hotel again. The friendly person apologized and the shuttle was redispatched. I stood longer in the bitter New York sleet until I was finally swept away to the warmth and security of a nearby hotel. I was happy to see that guy, and he was downright nice. Maybe New York isn’t so bad after all. Pff.
Once safely installed in my room, and with the local anger fizzing in my head, I made my way with laptop to the hotel bar. There I sat and watched the local victim hour, also known as the news. Crap, can’t there be one story on the evening not spun as injustice? The weather report was “here’s how mother nature is fucking us over today.” I have never heard a more consistent, pervasive whining than I did in NYC. I have gone out of my way in this story to mention people that were not whiny little fucks who thought the world owed them something. Two were bartenders, one drove a van. Who knows what they thought when they weren’t sucking up to travelers. [Unfair – the bartender at JFK was the read deal. She was funny as hell and a true sweetheart. I would have loved to stay up all night in her bar.]
The next morning I caught the plane back to San Diego. I staggered down the jetway and heard someone say, “Oh! I’m sorry. Go ahead.” I laughed not from humor but from joy, back where we may not be intimate but we are certainly polite, and we don’t feel that the world owes us happiness. We make that for ourselves.
Agreed, too many nigs and sp1cs here = small gangs, crime spikes, fights….. going to see how my work and living arrangements would be in Europe so long and die east side of Manhattan
MTA you can suck my dick, keep raising the fares and giving more shitty service for trains and buses and lay off all the cops you want so more people like me can get mugged and beaten to a pulp in the “Greatest city of them All”! New York Shitty
Hey StBlu, go fuck yourself you racist piece of crap. Go back to Staten Island, New Jersey, or whatever backwoods, worthless state you hated enough to leave!
you had me all the way up until you got back to San Diego. lived there for the worst 6 months of my life. the most plastic, shallow, humorless, conformist, tepid, self-satisfied people i’ve ever seen in my life. choosing between the giant frat/sorority house that is San Diego and the frothing mutant homunculi of new york would be a tough call indeed.
You think San Diego is bad…you should try LA!
it’s some of the new yorkers who have too much of an attitude that doesn’t make it comfortable for visitors to enjoy new york
I’m currently on vacation in NYC for Christmas……… apparently a ‘magical’ place to be during the festive season. My experience didn’t live up to this at all but I didn’t really expect it to.
Having lived in London for several years, I’m accustomed to what overcrowding, overpricing, insane tourism, pollution and crap weather can do to a city and it’s population. As in London, the rich live quite well here but for the other 99% of the population, daily life appears to be a fruitless and depressing struggle for a little bite of the rotten apple that is NYC.
I’m from Australia and, like most developed nations, have been fed a diet of crap American movies, television and infomercials for decades. Unfortunately, a visit to NYC reinforces the many negative American stereotypes that the rest of the world believes and it would be very easy for the less astute observer to conclude that all Americans are rude, arrogant arseholes. I know that this isn’t the case but for many visitors, their only experience of America will be a brief visit to NYC so it is sad their opinion of an entire nation may be influenced by a bad experience in NYC.
I’ve no doubt that NYC was once a great city but from my brief stay, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is now a run down theme park geared towards extracting money from tourists and locals alike. Being a musician, I was particularly offended by the jazz clubs that bore a closer resemblance to a Disneyland sideshow that a place for artistic expression and appreciation. Luckily I avoided them and chose to visit smaller intimate places such as Barbes and Bar Tabac in Brookyln and John Zorn’s ‘The Stone’. Obviously there is still great music going on in NYC but the majority of tourists will never know. I guess this is nothing new for a big city but it is sad that NYC is destroying it’s own image as the ‘home of jazz’ in exchange for the tourist $$.
At the end of the day, I’m still glad I came to visit NYC. I know that is just another example of an overpopulated, run down big city that is surviving on the back of the tourist dollar at the expense of the culture and quality of life of the local inhabitants which. Kind of reminds me of what Rome might have been like before the fall of the Roman Empire……..
I don’t mind NYC. Good points, bad points, like anywhere. I think it’s doing okay for being so spatially confined, for being old, and for being the target of terrorists.
Miguel et al., The reason you tourists find NYC so touristy is because you are tourists doing tourist things. You seriously think that 8M people are there to support you? Did you walk through Harlem, Washington Hgts, Randalls Island, or any of the other non-tourist places? And that only Manhattan. If you come to NYC and head straight to midtown, then don’t expect anything different. Times Square is not NYC, just like Old Faithful is not Yellowstone, and on and on …