I live in NYC.
For many people, images of midtown pop into their minds and they think of the last Broadway show they saw or the size of their sandwich at Carnegie Deli. Well, that's one part of New York, sure. But that might be about a small 10-block radius. They forget about the rest of the island and all the little islands that make up NYC. And on each of those islands are pissed off little New Yorkers feeling all high and mighty about the neighborhood they live in. Well, stop it. Shut up. Stop complaining about your neighbors across all the rivers - all of youse.
For many people, images of midtown pop into their minds and they think of the last Broadway show they saw or the size of their sandwich at Carnegie Deli. Well, that's one part of New York, sure. But that might be about a small 10 block radius. They forget about the rest of the island and all the little islands that make up NYC. And on each of those islands are pissed off little New Yorkers feeling all high and mighty about the neighborhood they live in. Well, stop it. Shut up. Stop complaining about your neighbors across all the rivers - all of youse.
Yeah, take that.
Dear New Yorkers!
I beseech you!
Embrace the totality of your town. NYC is made up of all the 5 boroughs. We are not separate entities. We are all New Yorkers struggling together in our own ways. If we were to meet on an island in the Pacific Ocean, we would have an instant kinship. We would wonder at the smallness of the world and buy one another drinks and promise to have dinner at our favorite neighborhood restaurants back in NYC. Maybe we should put a pinch of that sentiment into our everyday lives.
We are all in the same damn place. I'm tired of people knocking Manhattan or Brooklyn or rolling their eyes when someone mentions Staten Island. What the hell? This is the worst of the stereotypical New York persona - competitiveness and snobbishness. There are no "best" parts of NYC. We are all in NYC and we all are NYC.
Let me knock on your skull one more time. We live in NYC, people. Dreamers all across the world hang pictures of our skyline on their walls and imagine moving here. We are the kings of the world. We spend our time sitting in our neighborhoods complaining about the people on the next block. Why do we hate hipsters so much? "I hate hipsters" could be the national motto of NYC. I'm going to say it again: Shut up! Those hipsters are churning the milk of your artisanal cheese! Thank you hipsters! I love artisanal cheese! Think about what you say before you say it. Don't just repeat the latest headline of "New York" magazine.
I live in the East Village. (I know. I know) Sometimes, I like to say I live in Alphabet City. But when I say I live in Alphabet City, I'm proving to my audience that I've lived in the neighborhood long enough to know it used to be called Alphabet City. I've lived here for 17 years in the same apartment and I wear that like a badge. I have seen so many changes that sometimes I look around and I no longer recognize where I live. And who are all these jerks that have moved into my area? The East Village is gentrified. I said it. When I was 20 and moved onto 11th street, I was a part of a wave of gentrification. And like a tsunami, the waves keep coming. Change is coming whether I like it or not. It's inevitable. The neighborhood doesn't get better or worse, it just gets different. The Lower East Side has turned over and become something different so many times since it was a mosquito filled swamp.
They're putting a 7-11 on the corner of 11th street and Ave A. I know - just another hint that the East Village is a crappy place to be. Of course, there are more than a few east village residents who consider this place our home, who would spill out blood to protect it, who take pride living here, who fight against landlords constantly trying to rip their homes away from them to make more money. I don't live here to be cool. I live here because this is my home. This is not some sort of stepping stone to the suburbs for me or a giant dorm. I live here. This is my home. Let me repeat - my home.
So, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten - I ask you to take a close look at my neighborhood. Whatever snarky hatred you have for the East Village, it is a harbinger for what will be happening soon in your neighborhood. 7 11 intends on taking over very bodega in NYC. (Listen to this: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/7-eleven-tries-retake-manhattan)
So why not support your east village neighbors fighting against a 7 11? Why not LEND your help to your neighbor instead of uselessly complaining about why you never go there anymore anyway. At the very least, BOYCOTT 7 11! Visit your local bodega! Do you want to know more about what's happening on Ave A and 11th St? Ask me what's happening.
New Yorkers! Take pride in your neighborhood but don't take pride too far.
I LOVE (ALL) NYC,