|main menu blog index|
A WORD FROM OUR FOUNDER
New York New York the city so nice it can't get over itself
I just got back from New York and I am so happy to be home it's ridiculous. I did have a moment in NY were i could see the five year old me looking on in awe and approval. I was going to the offices of Mad Magazine. i put on a suit because i didn't know how they dress over there and "when in doubt, over dress". So i'm in a cab, in a suit, in NY, going to Mad Magazine to meet my editors. "awesome!" cheered five year old Doug, a dream come true i suppose. Although i'd like to point out to five year old Doug that five year old Al wanted to be a mechanic and achieved that with allot of less stress.
I'd like to point out to all of you, and to NY in general...that NY needs to get over itself. maybe 75, 50 years ago NY was a big deal. but as it sits now, NY is just another city. It is riding on past glories and the novelty of having gotten there first. I could take anyone of you, blindfold you and stick you in downtown chicago, new york, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, or any number of mid to large sized downtowns, stick a gun in your face and say "tell me where you are or i'll shoot you" and i'd get to shoot you every time. I've been all over this country and let me assure you at this point in history it's just another downtown.
"it's got the empire state building!"
big deal, do you have any business there? any reason to go there? no...so who gives a shit. it's got a bunch of landmarks you only need to see once, just like every other downtown. Chicago has the sears tower, Milwaukee has the calla trava, st. louis has an arch...they all look nice on a postcard...that's about it. Of all the places i've been, the ONLY one that stands out is San Diego, which is as close to heaven on earth as we'll ever get. aside from SD every other city is pretty much the same.
I've moved a couple of times and thought about moving again, but in the end, where you live boils down to- the people you know, the two restaurants you go to, and how far away the grocery store is.
Back to NY. times square may have seemed impressive back in the day before every minor league baseball team had a scoreboard that rivaled the big t. v. in times square, or seems cool on t. v. were they shoot the big ball from a fish eye lense so it looks majestic, but in person it's just a tacky tourist trap. Sure it's got the theatre, and comedy clubs..but who the hell goes to the theatre anymore other than for the sake of saying they went to the theatre? and anyone appearing in a comedy club in NY will appear and do the same act in 56 other cities that year. oh i'm sorry, did you thing you were going to see some great comic, or great band you'd never see anywhere else? welcome to 2010. and in the words of Bob Golthwait referring to cities like NY and LA "ANYONE who goes onstage there can get 20 people to watch them"...so if you do see someone who isn't playing anywhere else it's going to be some douche bag who spent his time getting to NY instead of spending his time getting really good at what he does. Someone who performs in the midwest in front of twenty people is going to be better every time because it's tougher to get people to go out and there are less people. you get an audience in the midwest you must be good. You get an audience in NY it's because twenty people would have went into that club anyway.
And frankly i like to be able to drive a car and park for under 50$ so as far as i'm concerned NY sucks. it's dirty, it's crowded, and most of it smells. this all sounds romantic because you've been brainwashed into thinking it's romantic. you've seen a zillion movies and a zillion t. v. shows set in NY and so it's riding a mythology that it no longer deserves.
it's like this ...i know the t. v. show "glee" sucks even though i have never seen an episode. i know it sucks because everybody who likes it says the same thing- "oh it's awesome...it's totally me and my friends in high school (open mouthed)hu hu huh ha huh" you see...if you can convince someone that a show or movie is about them then they will watch it and think it's good no matter what kind of piece of crap it truly is, because people are narcissists. and since a zillion people live in ny and la, every time someone craps out a show they base it in NY or LA to start off with a big audience and everyone else who sees it comes away thinking that NY and LA are big deals. they aren't, they are crap holes. If you really need to visit a place because you saw it on t. v. i'd recommend Chicago, it's big and dirty and has landmarks and clubs but it has less tourists and smells slightly better.
The worst thing about NY is the people who live there, who can't shut up about living there..as though moving all your shit to a big city, or being born in one is an accomplishment. they walk around with their little yankees hats and their little jets jerseys and for some reason i'm not supposed to look at them like they are the same kind of dumb hick as people living in Chicago wearing a cubs hat. On and on they drone about their beloved "gotham" to the point i wonder if they have been anywhere else...if you moved there from bumble fuck nebraska you are allowed to feel stoked about it for a year. after that, and anyone else, should know that it's just another town. ask anyone of them what's so great about new york and they will all reply "...it's New York" then tilt there heads like a confused dog when they see the answer has not satisfied you...and then repeat " it's...NEW...YORK"...now i never took a debate class but i don't think this is a very convincing arguement.
also, you'd think in big old "gotham" "the city that never sleeps" that people would move thier ass a little. walking back from Mad (riding in a cab in NY is pointless because the streets are a parking lot, i basically paid to hear bad reggaa music and wonder why the seat was damp so i walked back)was like being in line at disney, seven thousand people were walking to their destinations as though time was stopped. being in NY i figured it would be fine to be rude and shove my way past people who were dragging their heals and grumble loudly "move your ass"...people looked at me like i was john belushi in a 4 star restaurant. any other city i've shoved my way through people bitching at them to move faster they realize they are holding up the show and move fatser...not in NY, in NY they turn and look with confusion that someone is actually in a hurry. and like i said ...i wasn't even in a hurry these locals in the city that never sleeps weren't even walking as fast as i walk normally. in Doug's scale of "the locals walk like they have lead in their ass" NY rates just below Fort Lauderdale in the off season.
me myself personally, i'll stick with Milwaukee. It's a stones throw away from Chicago or Madison ANYONE touring will hit one or all of these cities, i can drive a car, cigarettes aren't 13.00, i can go to a grocery store not a shitty corner market, there are allot of restaurants but not so many that the health department could never hope to check them all, and if i really want that metropolitan feel i.e. the smell of garbage, the ambiance of deranged homeless people, loser street musicians, and bad theatre (is there any other kind?) i can go downtown...and then leave immediately after i realize that all that stuff sucks.