^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…
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.