Drunks still regale you with their unasked-for recollections of “where I was on 9/11.” . . . Twenty-four-hour Duane Reades tempt you to bust out of bed in the middle of the night to buy more nail polish remover. . . . You get a text during lunch, then realize it’s from the person you’re lunching with!
Chants of “I love living somewhere where the seasons change” grow really old after the fifth blizzard in a row. . . . We’re the only city in America whose mayor never gets caught in a sordid sex scandal. Doesn’t he ever fuck?
People are always in your face with their unsolicited two cents. (“Why aren’t you wearing a helmet?” they screech. I yell back: “Why don’t you wear condoms?”) . . . Other bike riders come at you like cannonballs, never ceding you the right of way—and they’re always holding five plastic bags, for some reason. . . . The “dollar pizza” signs down the block make it hard to put your apartment on the market as a “swanky co-op in a chi-chi location. . . .” Ever since housing values plummeted, we’ve been getting an influx of mid-level dummos who can suddenly afford to live in New York. It’s everything we thought we were safe from!
All the people who “friend” you on Facebook because they’re such fans immediately start pushing you to go to some group art show on Twelfth Avenue where they have an erotic collage in the back. . . . There’s a Real Housewife and her publicist every five yards. . . . We have all the same chain stores and theme restaurants as Middle America, but we pretend to be so culturally above it all. . . . We’re actually below the norm at K-Mart, where some of the employees have no idea where anything is and often just stand there, as if in a K-hole. (Or K-Mart hole?) Is it that hard to find a light-up watch?
The edge is back, but only in the scary way, not the creative way. . . . The cost of a MetroCard keeps going up while subway service keeps going down. . . . Whenever a train stops between stations, that horrible pre-recorded announcement blares, saying, “There’s traffic ahead of us. Please be patient.” The train starts moving two seconds into the announcement, but it keeps on blaring. I’d be way more patient without it!
One significant patch of Christopher Street has even more rats than pedestrians (but at least they’re gay rats). . . . People who used to go to nightclubs now join community boards to stop nightclubs from opening in the neighborhood. . . . There’s a loud bar across the street from me! . . . To get into a club, you have to submit to carding, searching, prodding, and everything but sniffing dogs. At least a pat-down at an airport ends you up in the Caribbean. . . . Most bars try to double-charge your credit card for drinks. . . . There isn’t a single DJ that plays a song that came out after 1987.
Any place that I love for good, cheap, quick food inevitably goes out of business. (Big Enchilada, Bagel Buffet, Michelle’s Kitchen, Latin Corner, etc.) . . . By the time you get a table at the hot restaurant, it’s not hot anymore. . . . Everyone keeps trying to drag you to trendy new neighborhoods in Brooklyn, forgetting that these places were the horror sites of your youth. . . . The football dramas and Beatles-impersonator musicals you avoided on Broadway—certain they’d just go away—end up running forever, taunting you like the devil’s rain. . . . The worst reviewed—and most dangerous—show in town is the hardest to get a ticket to.
Stores are filled with things that would look great in your apartment—if it was five times larger and had a terrace, a garden, and a garage. . . . You can’t even window-shop at thrift stores for fear the bedbugs will smash through the glass and gnaw your eyes out. . . . To buy candy at a deli or newsstand, you have to play a complex psychological game, quickly deciding whether you should bring the item to the register and pay whatever they say or boldly hand them a dollar and move on. (The latter approach always works for me, but it’s stressful. I’m generally not that “take-charge.”)
The Upper West Side feels like a foreign city that should secede. . . . But not as much as the Upper East Side. . . . Any time someone young and attractive approaches you on the street, you start blotting your lips for a photograph, only to be asked, “Which way is the Meatpacking District?” . . . The museums are so crowded that you can only see the top right-hand corner of every DaVinci etching.
Normally sensible people still wait in line for a cupcake. . . . You have to go to the far reaches of the outer boroughs to get my favorite obsolete food staple—a combination dish with fried rice, egg roll, wonton soup, and pineapple chunks. The fortune cookie says: “Forget about it.”. . . You can be king of the world in certain demographics, but walk into a different one and suddenly it’s, “What’s the name again?” . . . Manhattan’s big-gest thoroughfares, which should draw you to their majestic charm, are actually the skankiest places in town, absolute musts to avoid. (Think 14th Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, etc.) . . . Ever wake up on a Sunday in Midtown? You want to kill yourself.
But the main reason I hate New York is that, despite all the above 39 reasons, it has such an unbreakable power over me that there’s no way I’d ever dream of leaving. Besides, I can’t drive. Mwah, city!
But, wait, I just thought of another reason: Times Square! Ewwww.