In March, Pope Francis declared 2015 a Holy Year of Mercy, urging all Catholics to remember that “God forgives and God forgives always.”
“No one can be excluded from God’s mercy,” he said during a Lenten service at the Vatican. “Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness.”
It’s a good thing he’s in a forgiving mood, because he’s about to spend the next three days in the Big Apple and — let’s be honest — there are plenty of New Yorkers who could use a little absolution. Here’s a list of New York City people, places, and things that could stand a pardon from the man in the hat:
5Pointz owner Jerry Wolkoff for insisting that his Long Island City condo development bear the name of the longtime graffiti mecca he had razed earlier this year.
All the Famous Ray’s that purport to be the Original.
The Downtown Brooklyn “pioneer” for fighting babies. The fully-outside-of-the-womb kind.
The Times Square Olive Garden — and not just for the obvious crime of being an Olive Garden in the city’s worst neighborhood. This one has the added offense of hosting an annual New Year’s Eve party. The servers who take that shift should get lifetime absolution. Although actually, it might be where the unrepentant end up.
The John Varvatos store on Bowery, formerly CBGB, because we still can’t get over that shit.
Martin Shkreli…hahahahaha, just kidding, that guy’s going to Hell.
The pope could leave a packet of communion wafers in Penn Station. This wouldn’t exactly absolve anyone, but it might actually give commuters something worth eating, there.
Weed delivery services citywide, for having convinced everyone that three grams equals an eighth.
Taylor Swift for the various crimes she committed against the city (namely, the ceaseless blaring of 1989 in Forever 21 stores across Manhattan) during her reign as ambassador.
All man-spreaders and pole-leaners on the subway. OH WAIT THEY DON’T DESERVE ABSOLUTION.
That hot dog vendor who was charging tourists exorbitant sums for street meat. (Here’s a tip, Your Holiness: All street vendors tend to drop prices when you say, “I’m a local. I’m not paying $4 for a can of Coke.”)
The skateboarding Baby’s All Right taco, for recklessly endangering the life of an unsuspecting driver.
Williamsburg. All of it.
The cast of The View, which, on a daily basis turns their set into a cauldron of misguided and uninformed hot takes. (Dump a bucket of holy water on the head of Raven Symoné, while you’re there.)
Anyone with man-bun. In Brooklyn or literally anywhere else.
Commuters who do anything on the subway other than stare blankly ahead in mild, contemplative silence.
Every new bank branch and chain pharmacy in Manhattan and Brooklyn (and Queens, and the Bronx, and Staten Island) for slowly stripping the city of its character.
Any restaurant in the city that takes this locavore shit so seriously they don’t serve limes in their drinks.
That one peeing homeless guy the Post attacked on cover after cover this summer. But Francis must not absolve the Post because c’mon.
Himself. Because timing his visit to New York to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly is basically going to ruin Manhattan for an entire weekend. That’s a new level of assholery.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 24, 2015