Allow me to shit on NYC for second

^This may be the biggest problem with NYC, all wrapped up in one music video.

If there is one thing I have any pride in, it’s NYC. If you’ve read this blog for a while you’d know that I’m blindly loyal to this city and have been for as long as I’ve been aware of what
“pride” is. If New York City were it’s own country, I’d be that Gun rack having Yokel with NYC flag stickers all over my pick up truck blasting the newest Pro-New York Country song. However, I am a Libra. And even though that actually means nothing in real life, anyone who follows signs will tell you we are all about the scales. Ask any girl. She’ll tell you. I may seem very opinionated (I am) but I’m very much a person who weighs things out. Because of this, even I am able to admit that NYC is full of faults. Keep in mind, this isn’t about New yorkers (whom I’m sure you all think are smug assholes with inflated self importance issues) but about the city itself. So, let me tell you my beefs with the greatest city on the planet…

1)Mexican food

You’re probably thinking “how dare this dude start a list of complaints off with something as meaningless as food?” Well, for one, I love food that much and secondly, this is NYC. THere is no excuse for this shit.grh
We’ve got tons of mexicans here. Obviously, not on the same level as California but enough that you’d think I would be able to find a decent taco in NYC. When I go out west, the cheapest, crappiest taco truck>>>>>anywhere here. It’s insane. It’s not like motherfuckers are hiding the recipe. This shouldn’t be that hard. Just open a bunch of “Poquito Mas” out here and get it over with.
I feel deep shame when someone asks me “Hey where’s a good place to get a burrito around here?” and I point to a fucking Chipotle. What kind fo Mall life bullshit is that?
Lately, things have been slightly improving. There are a handful of spots and a bunch of taco trucks, but still, even those places aren’t shit compared to the most mediocre place out west. Step it up, ese.

2)Live shows suck here
The Vibe when you see live music here is a bummer. It’s really the only major city I can think of where people are seemingly “over” live music yet, they still go. I can honestly say one of the best things about all these out of town transplants is that they’ve bought their out of town show seeing values to NYC. It’s desperately needed.
More often than not, at every show, there will be a small core of people up front enjoying themselves. Dancing, fist pumping or whatever it is people like to do at shows. However, outside that little group, are a bunch of people with their arms folded staring down their noses at the performer on some “entertain me , you clown!” type shit. I’m guilty of this too. I’ve been that guy in the back quietly watching since i was a kid. I feel like I can blame NY for that. They set the precedent from a young age and I followed.
When you go to shows in other cities or towns, it’s a whole new world. People dancing all over. Fucking hula hoop sections. Stoned out drug addicts just waving around in deep bliss. That kinda shit just isn’t in the blood of New yorkers and it’s a shame. It makes for a better experience for all those involved (well, maybe not the hula hooping).

CMJ is NY’s music festival. The word “Festival” is a stretch though, as that word brings to mind fun. Sure, lots of bands play around town , new and old. For many of them, it’s a really big deal to finally get to play in NYC. But the reality is depressing. Granted, I stopped going/doing to CMJ shows years ago for good reason. All my memories of these shows consist of an artist playing while a room of people who could care less drink and talk loudly to each other with their back facing the stage. It’s the type of place where two people will sit on stage next to each other and have an loud conversation while someone is performing about 3 feet away from them. I can say as a person who does shows that nothing is more offensive than that. I don’t care how green or shitty an artist is, no one deserves that kinda fuckery.
CMJ, in my experience, is a shmooze-fest that is full of the worst types of industry people you can imagine. No acts get broken. Nothing comes from it. It’s bullshit. I’m sure this is easily related to the whole “Live shows suck here” point but still, it’s no excuse for this festival to be as lame as it is.

4)The edge is gone
This is more of a wistful point by someone who was around before the city became what it is now. It’s also the most common complaint by all New Yorkers. Even the ones who’ve lived her for three years and have no fucking clue what they’re talking about.
As much as I stand by my city and feel it’s #1, there is no denying that it’s not the cutting edge anymore. once the element of danger was removed, it kinda sucked the wind out of the balance this city once had. What was once randomly violent, yet edgy became safe and sterile.
A month or so ago, there was a weekend where like 49 people were shot in New York. It was a record breaking crime wave the likes NYC hadn’t seen in decades. While this is pretty horrifying, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that was kinda like “A little fear never hurt anybody…“. That’s a pretty fucked up thought but I feel like the NYC I once knew and lived in is so far gone now, the only thing that could get it back would be a zombie attack or a city wide gang war. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

5)Fuck your mom and pop stores
One of the greatest things about NY in the past was the small businesses. Great little restaurants and specialty stores were every where. When I was a kid, there was a store near my crib that sold old ass army figurines. Nothing else. It had been open since like the 1950’s. Or baseball card stores. Things like that. Sure, these things are completely of no use to me or most people but the fact they existed and were able to stay open was always great to me.

Now they’re all closed and have become Starbucks, banks or drug stores. I realize there are millions of people on this tiny island, but no one needs THAT many banks , coffee, or drug stores. At any point, I could probably see at least 3 or 4 or these on any given corner in manhattan.
Even worse is that a lot of the places that were once occupied by specialty stores are just closed down empty property. The rent got raised, the store got closed and now it’s just an empty slot on the sidewalk. Might as well have kept the figurines.

6)It’s too expensive.
Forget the price of rent…It’s not even worth discussing. But i’ve come to grips with NYC’s insanely high cost of living as “Paying for location, not lifestyle.” If you’re willing to pay a shitload for a small studio apartment just so you can live in lower Manhattan, more power to you. I’d do it too…but beyond those ridiculous costs, it’s the other ridiculous costs. When I go out of town, I feel like I’m spending money in a third world country. 75 cents for a can of soda??? A $4 mixed drink? A meal that costs under 20 bucks? What planet am I on?
I hear Cigarettes are like 11 bucks now in NYC. How crazy is that? That’s over 50 cents per cig. I bet you could by a carton in West Virginia for like 14 dollars. It’s nuts. It’s also what made a place that used to be where an artist could come live and scrape by become a place where artists come to get their dreams crushed before moving to Portland and opening a Pilates studio. Shit is real (expensive).

7)You can’t find good help
You will never meet a more entitled and obnoxious workforce than the people who work shitty jobs in NYC. The Cashiers, the take out counter people, the coffee shops assholes…all of them. These are jobs that, when you go to other places, you are greeted with a smile. I recall eating at a MCDonalds in the midwest and just being blown away by how helpful people were. Out here, it’s like I can’t ask for my change back without feeling like I’m really putting this person out.
I’ve been all over the country and this seems to be a NY specific thing. It transcends race and culture. The Hipster dude at the boutique coffee shop is just as likely to be as big a dickhead as the thugged out dude working the register at Burger king. It’s this “I’m above this job so fuck you” attitude. Being a person who has worked jobs like this, I can say, it’s not fucking hard to be polite. Smile, say hi and thank you. some people deserve to be unemployed.

8 ) Rap-wise, there is no community
I’m pretty far removed from giving a shit about what the music scene is like and who’s down with who but , as long as I can remember, there has always been a divide for rap dudes from NYC. Whether it be what borough or genre, the support has always been limited. Meanwhile, you go to a place like the Bay Area and you got dudes like E-40 bigging up Blackalicious or out in L.A. , Snoop dog cosigning Murs. That kinda shit goes a long way , yet that line of thought is apparently lost on New Yorkers.

I’m sure there are more but I’m blanking out right now. Feel free to add on…but only if you’re a new yorker cause I don’t truly give a shit what some dude from Ottawa thinks about my city.

43 thoughts on “Allow me to shit on NYC for second

  1. so on point except for the textbook “CA is better” mexican food stab. definitely not a lot out here, but fogon, los hermanos and other smaller carts/storefronts out in bushwick kill it! fuck a $4 taco from the union pool taco truck [that doesn’t even move] though. not on that vibe.

    • I know that there are places starting to pop up but the point is, it’s mexican food. it should be good and everywhere in NYC and it’s not. Also, I live in Manhattan so going to BK for a cheap god taco isn’t happening.

      • Dos Toros is pretty damn good. And that taco truck in williamsburg.

        Can agree with #7 more. Customer service is fuckin atrocious in this city. I was at food emporium yesterday and in between ringing me up and me swiping my credit card the woman literally turned her back to me to talk to her dumb ass friend at the next register. Don’t even get me started on duane reade employees.

  2. You are correct about New York City having inexplicably shitty Mexican food, but you can take heart in the fact that New York is better than Los Angeles in nearly every other kind of food. Also kudos to you for exposing the pointless circle jerk that is the CMJ music festival. I remember people would be like, “I got a pass for CMJ!” and I was thinking, great, you get to stand around with a bunch of noisy assholes ignoring a bill of artists so markedly different from each other that it’s hard to say that they’re all performing the same craft. Which someone might say at CMJ, if they could hear the bands over the wannabe Steve Albini types hitting on nerd girls.

  3. 1. If you’re someone who’s not into Friends or Sex and the City but all your friends are and you go there with them, it can totally ruin New York for you.

    2. I’m from the UK and my main memory of visiting NYC is getting stopped by some amateur rappers round Central Park. They handed me a copy of their CD before asking if I’m a fan of big black cocks, did I want to try theirs. Does that happen a lot to tourists or should I feel flattered?

    • Yeah…you had no chance. Coming here to relive those tv shows is the worst thing you could do ever.
      As for the CD salesmen, you’re not special. They harass everyone…but especially girls.

  4. Good read….i cant agree more with the MOM and POP shops. Its pretty much happening every where. Thank you Walmart…i gotta say though you go to downtown LA and get into the Fashion District or Toy District you will still find that mom and pop thing going on. Its sad that its a thing that will more often than not die off. Oh and fuck you starbucks with your freespirit grande lattes…just fuck you…your coffee sucks too and so does the emo chick/guy working behind the counter. But at least NY has some good pizza….damn good pizza. Toss up between NY and Chicago…although two differnt worlds both good in there own respects.

  5. I can go buy a carton of cigarettes for 11.89 here (and even cheaper in Kentucky vs. Indiana) and that carton last for at least two weeks..That is absolutely insane how pricey NYC is, which now I am going to pass this along to my brother-in-law since he is training for a month in NYC to work for The Onion. I want to know where they are going to shack him up and what they are and aren’t going to pay for him to train in the city. This post couldn’t have come at a better time actually, since I was personally curious as well and can now pass the info his way..

  6. yo block, to start off, i’m an NY transplant in LA. people in new york may be “over” shows and act too cool to get into shit, but in LA, people get really into the shows and still just act like zombies in quicksand. i’m not sure which is better.
    the worst shit for me is the sporting events. i’m used to going to games, yelling belligerently, and reacting loudly when something ill/objectionable happens. i went to that clippers game last year (NBA R.I.P.) where blake griffin dunked on like every knick in 1 quarter, and it was like watching operatic theater.

  7. I lived in LA for about 10 years and now that I’m back east people always say go to Chipotle for good Mexican. I finally ate there and yeah, that’s not real Mexican food. It’s like Subway opened a taco stand.

  8. I got a good burrito in Brooklyn, but Manhattan is hopeless.
    Most of the Mexicans are working at pizza joints.
    I’m from Upstate NY, but my brother and I lived in Manhattan for a while.
    We once went on a quest for a restaurant in Manhattan that had free soda refills. Just about everywhere else in the country you can get unlimited refills at a family restaurant. I had to make a shit ton of phone calls, but I did eventually find a diner that let us knock down endless glasses of Pepsi. I’d like to give that diner a plug here, but I can’t remember the name.

  9. I guess one problem with NYC is you can live here for years right next to someone, and not even know their name. The nature of the city seems to make a lot of folks create “cones of silence” around themselves. I actually kind of like it. but it kinda sucks when youve locked your keys in the apartment

  10. Hey man, do you have your sets planned out? Or will you take requests before hand. Asking cause I was listening to Coloringbook and wanted to see if you could play that in Dallas at Club Dada. It’s cool if your shit already planned out, just thought I’d ask. Btw we have that Tex Mex shit down to a T down here. VERY good stuff, if you have time check out El Fenix, or any 7 Salsa’s. Mexican food is my SHIET!

  11. The fuckin MTA (although it runs 24 hrs and I guess is getting slightly better) sucks. Slow on RUSH hour. Delays all the time. Oh, and the people that work in the booths have the worst attitudes ever. I know bikes are better but not if you live in another borough that’s not Manhattan but you constantly have to travel into Manhattan.

  12. Corollary to CMJ and playing to people’s backs: Put your fucking phone down. You are watching an entire 2 hour concert through a phone so you can get shitty video. And you are in front of me and while I am taller than you that shit is distracting. Stop it. You’re an adult. Standing still is bullshit. Dance, motherfucker.

    I’ve only been to one CMJ concert but this had the least amount of that out of anything I’ve seen, but I got to the front so I probably missed that.

    Disclaimer: I recorded one song at the Company Flow reunion at Santos Party House because I want my unborn children to know the meaning of “ill.”

  13. okay, a couple things, regarding:

    mexican food – i’m sure you’ve had calexico, but try it if you haven’t. i like it. also there’s a burrito place on 4th ave at 13th st that’s california style that looked good as fuck. my friend ate there but i had already eaten so i didn’t.

    live shows – that ravey hula hoop shit doesn’t exist in NYC because there literally aren’t enough people that corny to stitch together a scene like they do in midwestern cities. okay maybe not but certainly not that brand of corny. i know because i grew up in one of those cities. no disrespect, i know you’ve said this makes up a huge percentage of people who attend your shows on the festival circuit.

    cmj – what a fucking joke. literally every night and every venue contains a lineup of the same caliber artists you could see any night in new york. possibly interesting to anyone who works in the music industry except a musician (because i played there this year, which, again, means nothing)

    good help – true, people you expect to be helpful because they’re paid to do it are worthless, but the overwhelming amount of total strangers constantly lending a helping hand in such an enormously populated city is astounding. of course, its not extraordinary to be courteous but most people here could use the excuse of being in too much of a hurry (which we all are), too cool or too rich to give directions to help someone carry a stroller down to the subway, but they don’t (for the most part). because everyone here has to deal with the same shitty problems (the threat of bedbugs, the inconvenience of the mta, the extreme heat/cold, etc) so they can empathize. this type of courtesy isn’t common in any other city i’ve been to.

    cost of living – i can’t believe i now consider a $10 meal to be a cheap one

    lack of community – it definitely doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get another sonic youth, talking heads, blondie, wu-tang clan; artists that emerged from small neighborhood scenes in new york. if there is any scene in new york at all, its just a potpourri of a bunch of different shit created by people from all over the place who live here now (including myself, so obviously its nothing i can be resentful about, just an outside observation)

    • The burrito spot you’re talking about is “Dos Toros”. There’s one on the west side now too on Carmine st. It’s great by new york standards. It’s 100% my go to for mexican in the city. It’s pretty typical/average when compared to what they got out west though.

  14. the thing I miss most, first as a child in the seventies on my visits to wierd assed fam and then as a teen when I moved here, 42 arcades/titties/freaks. I was blown away by this as a children I felt like on 7th avenue I could play mario brothers breakdance shoot heroin fuck get kidnapped and join a punk band all at the same time.

    I never thought I’d ever say this, cause I fought to remain here living in the shittiest shit holes you could imagine as an artist/ (“that shit”, as you mentioned, doesn’t happen anymore)…but for real, I say fuck this place everyday while I just blindly hand over money for the same shitty shit that was once cheap here.

  15. Some of the best Mexican food in NYC is in Jackson Heights, Queens. Off of 74st 35 Roosevelt AVE stop, E, F, 7, M, R. There are about 3-5 cart/trucks that go ham basically 24hrs right by the train. Also several good sit down spots where the only people in them are Mexican, so that kinda says it all. I know dudes from Bk and Manhattan aint about Queens and think its got nothing to offer but ya might want to take an adventure 1 day. The hood has a variety of food to offer actually, but Mexican is like all day everyday.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Word. I don’t doubt that at all. Same could e said for some of the down low best pizza spots being hidden in random little neighborhoods in Queens and deep brooklyn. But like you said, I don’t make trips out to queens much (ever) so going there for a taco is a bit of a stretch. I’m a lazy ass dude.

      • Best down-home food of most ethnicity is in Queens, homie. Definitely Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Peruvian, Thai, Korean at least. Also, with BK getting so expensive and played out, you’ll soon find yourself trooping out to Queens more and more to DJ, “go to a cool loft party” and other BS like that. Trust.

  16. points taken
    but yea i think this is rlly just manhattan
    out in queens we got ill mexican food/cheap shit/stabbings and murders
    like nothing changed rlly…..
    think i can say the same 4 bronx/most of bk

    • Oh, 100%. I’m fully aware of that. I mean, technically, Manhattan is NYC (like if you’re sending mail) so that’s really what I was referring to (though it applies to lots of BK nowadays too).

      • Yeah I was Addressing Manhattan, but as a Bronxite I’ll just say it’s not the same as it was even 10 years ago let alone 20, Dudes aren’t parking trucks under the 4 train selling Northface coats for 40 bucks nowadays and you think Italians still run most of the pizza shops? nope, those are rich Albanians who came in after sal’s 30 year lease ran out and the landlord increased his rent %800.

        I’m not going on about the BX, cause I’d be here all night but essentially if the rent goes up on commercial dwellings the prices of merchandise do too, the rent goes up in housing the people leave.

  17. I’ve moved around the country all my life but now I’ve lived in manhattan for longer than any other city after quite a while in texas and you hit so many points right on the head. I was lucky living next to an okay tex mex place downtown which was nice but it now it’s gone post-sandy. It’s pretty sad that when I’m just eavesdropping people they are all excited about going to sxsw…no wonder for a week in austin it would look like the LES invaded…
    My other favorite is when I check out at a grocery store I’m sometimes not sure when the transaction is “over”, you just notice that the cashier is ignoring you now and staring into space, so I guess that’s the cue to move on 🙂

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