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From The Vaults: I Hate New York In June

Excerpted for a piece I wrote for the Omen in April(?) of 1999


This spring brake I went to NewYork city I did not go with my mom or dad i went With my freinds. Newyork City sucks it is the dirtiest, ugliest, yuckiest jo-jeezly city in the yoonerverse. I would rather be throne in that really bad pit of Dante’s Inferno you know, the one with the hippopotamusses. I hate those lyin cheatin hippopotamusses.

New York is a pit to which I am unfortunately damned, as someone who wants to work with the printed word. This is my biggest problem with New York. I am not afraid of muggers anymore, because there are people up and going to and from work at all hours, and so the city feels safer than Northampton at night.

My problem is that so god-awful incredibly much power is amassed in New York. Just about every major media company has its headquarters there, not to mention banks, business, and things like the U.N. It deeply bothers me that because New York has a lock on my market, I may well be forced to live and work there someday.

The city is fantastically repulsive. You’d be hard-pressed to find a square inch of surface which is not covered in sticky black smeg. The subway’s the worst — it’s got urine, vomit, fecal matter, all that stuff which makes New York great. Trees and other living things, including people, are of marginal importance to the city’s master plans, at best.

Not only that, but the city is just plain depressing. Generations upon ages of immigrants have arrived there, sweated, suffered, scraped, and still come up with nothing but a faceful of “No _______ Need Apply” posters, visible or implied. There is still a feel of the old-style tenements about the city, the ones which eventually got banned because ventilation was so poor that people just smothered.

And yet everybody thinks New York is God’s pearly heavenly discotheque, sent to redeem us of our sins of small-town tackiness. The worst sycophants are kids from New Jersey, who invariably seem to consider themselves the anointed heirs of all things New York, from the Algonquin Round Table to CBGB’s, if they even make it up there on the odd weekend.

Even the buildings themselves have this kind of attitude. We’re the shit, they say, crowding out the sun. We’re bigger than you. In fact, we’re bigger than God. Don’t misunderstand me; I like feeling small. The plains of Montana are great, because the sky is so huge that you think you’re going to get crushed. I just don’t like it when people get so biggity, building all these suffocating skyscrapers. They’ll all be condemned and torn down someday anyway.

Every time I’m in New York and I mention how much I hate it, I get an earful of shit for being from Los Angeles. I get lectured about how racist LA is, how it sucks up more than its share of federal funds and natural resources, how everyone there is into healing crystals and high colonics and doesn’t know jack about classy things like literature (which is patently untrue. Los Angeles is just another place to live, not some ungodly freakshow. We have our own everyday culture, but everybody seems to ignore it in favor of demonizing us as legions of Hollywood.)

This last week the conversation took a weird tack as my friend Stephan and his mom, who hail from Queens, even got excited trying to one-up me on how evil the NYPD was compared to the LAPD. (Gee, I guess I can’t really claim to be an enraged progressive. My police force only churns out humdrum Rodney King cases, while their fine young men in blue produce Abner Louimas.)

No such criticism is ever leveled at New York, which has soooo much going for it. Like hot dog carts. Yessiree, we know that New York will be spared God’s wrath, come the endtime, because it has the nostalgia-inducing power of hot dog carts. That, and Seinfeld.

How about a little biodiversity, here? What happens when New York gets wiped out by disease or some kind of bombing? It’s just pigheaded and greedy to want to have everything concentrated in one big ogre of a city.

Spread some of that good theater and ethnic food and night life around to cities which deserve it, like San Diego, or Charlottesville, VA, or DC or Austin or Minneapolis or something, won’t you? I don’t want to live in New York. It’s all crusty with the sadness of a few billion people, their ethnic divisions, their hubris, and their failings.

I hate New York in Juuuune, how about yoooOOOOUuuu — everybody, sing it with me!…


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    You will never make it in New York sweetie… Stay in california with the airheads..By the way your writing sucks…

    Friday, December 5, 2003 at 1:23 am | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    The filthy bum New Yorkers are fine if they all stay there and out of the Poconos!

    Sunday, December 7, 2003 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  3. Brian wrote:

    Yes New York sucks in June. New York sucks throughout the other eleven months of the year too. There is no room for anyone there but disgusting non-English speaking immigrants and other dregs of society. Anyone who lives in New York city should have their head examined. I hate New York, and will spend the rest of my days promoting that very thing. The ideals, morals, and attitudes that are constantly belched out of that rotten-ass hole (not to mention the pollution and yes, I’ll say it again, the filthy immigrants) are only there to cause the continued downward spiral of our once great country. Don’t bother telling me how wrong this is, I’ve lived within eyeshot of New York long enough to know. I’ve lost enough days of my life working in the miserable stench filled streets of that God-forsaken place. I’ve paid enough three hundred dollar parking fines for simple mistakes made. I’ve parked in enough parking garages to the tune of $65 per day. I have the experience, and know that it sucks. Go to Hell New York, you rotten piece of shit…….

    Friday, February 27, 2004 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  4. jamie mullinax wrote:

    Fuck New York. Everythings better in the dirty south.

    Friday, March 5, 2004 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  5. knotzy wrote:

    Stupid New Yorkers make me laugh.The only thing they care about is how they look and how much money they make.You can take an asshole New York drug addict who molests his children,give him a half-assed job to barely afford his Lexus and vacation in the poconos,and his attitude will be”Life Is Great………I,m Great……..Give Me More!!!!!! Another interesting thing about New Yorkers is they love to move out of New York and tell all the neighbors in the new town how great New York was.If its so great,why did they move?They act like everyone is honored by their presence.If anyone is surrounded by New Yorkers in a restaraunt or anywhere else,you’ll instantly realize it because they like to talk really loud so everyone around them can here their business,as if anyone cares.As I mentioned earlier,I’m sure the conversation would be about how they look or how they saved 2 cents on a plane ticket.Another wonderful thing is that accent.Do they all have a mouthful of marbles or did they just never make it past kindergarten?Do the rest of America a favor and learn the english language.The New York area is great,but the people there are worse than the plague.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 6:02 am | Permalink
  6. billboballbags wrote:

    amen to fucking new yorkers talking about where they USED to live. i swear this country is tilted west, and we get all of the annoying runoff. and don’t give me that shit about our pizza sucking, every loudmouthed guido moves west and opens some eatery here.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 11:02 pm | Permalink
  7. gus wrote:

    The funny thing is I wrote this seven years ago before I moved to New York. Shortly thereafter I moved here, and I don’t agree with much of what I said anymore. The city’s really homey and cozy once you find your place in it, and much less disconnected and inhumane than much of the rest of the US. At this point I wouldn’t trade even a bad day on the subway for a day of bouncing around a freeway in a little oil-guzzling steel box, never knowing anything about what your neighbors are up to.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  8. Geneva wrote:

    Get the fuck outta here! As you Shit Mongering New Yorkers like to say. New Yorkers are the most shit mongering people in the Universe. And don’t let me get started about how insecure the women are. I’m an Angeleno, Thank God For That!

    I used to talk about how bad the LA women are, but you know what, NY women have it much worse.Evey woman on the subway breaks her neck to look and stare at every other woman.They can’t help but to give you a shitty face or say something under their breath that’s shitty. Like their invisable, like no one can hear them! Their fucking psycho! They can’t help but to insult you, a person who they’ve never seen in life. I’ve seen them do it to alot of people, myself being one of them. I wonder what they’d do in LA, where women have big tits and long pretty hair; would they crawl in a hole and die.

    New Yorkers love to be up each others asses.Literally. A woman came up and stood next to me on a train; she then leaned behind me and looked up my ass. I was wearing pants. She was a young woman. The people sitting down behind me, you should’ve seen their faces!

    New Yorkers like to be close to one another, which I find to be personally repulsive. They have an opinion about everything. Wow, look how she’s standing, wow, she’s breathing, wow she’s alive. You can’t even have a fucking conversation without people listening in and making assumptions, or identifying with who or what you’re talking about.

    New York is not a free place; it is absolutely amoral to build such tall buildings along the ocean front. To build soo many tall buildings soo close together, it’s not ok to completely block out the sun.

    New York is a cooped up place, full of crack heads. I’m paying 900$ and I still have to live with crack heads, and women with miss-matched babies.

    And don’t let me get started on the Caribbean Voodoo People. You don’t wanna live in an area where there are a majority of carribeans.Seriously, I’ve been there and done that. I’ve had my trash gone through and special voodoo fetishes made to provoke and spiritually attack me. I had to move. And I had never even had interaction with those people. They didn’t even know me. In voodoo, it’s not like Wicca. They don’t have a creed of do unto others. They just do whatever they feel like and don’t believe in Karma.

    Racial Tensions here are extremely high here; I feel like a need a fucking passport in order to cross the fucking street or in order to eat at a restaurant. And I’m talking not just about areas in Brooklyn, I’m talking about Tribeca, where I was verbally and physically assaulted and abused for walking with my friend who is white. An Italian guy total mob stereotype in a town car verbally admonished my friend for walking with me in tribeca.

    Let’s tell the truth here, New York is not for everybody. Anyone who speaks well, and is fully articulate just doesn’t fit in here. And let’s also tell the truth about the so called New York Culture. New Yorkers aren’t cultured; give me a fucking break as they like to say.

    And to the person that said, “Oh, sweetie, you’ll never make it in New York.” Let me just say, that you don’t know shit about life and what it really is. And that’s just what a predictably shitty, spiritually underdeveloped, shit monger ring New Yorker would say.

    Go to hell, and for you it’s not far at all, it’s accessible by the A, B, C, E, F, 1, 2 & 3 Trains.

    I hoped you’d die, but you’re already dead. Life in New York is not life.

    Friday, June 9, 2006 at 11:28 pm | Permalink
  9. Kat wrote:

    What cracks me up is that I live in L.A. and my boss is from New York (as my dad likes to say, immigration is the sincerest form of flattery) and all she EVER talks about is how much L.A. sucks by comparison to Gnu Yawp, and how unfashionable Angelenos are by comparison to Gnu Yawkuhs, how illiterate and uncultured Angelenos are by comparison, blah blah blah.

    The fun part is, she lives in L.A., she wears LEOPARD PRINT and great big GOLD JEWELRY in L.A. (somebody really needs to tell her that leopard print is hopelessly declasse in Los Angeles and instantly marks you as a crepey old dowdy import, and that being a label-whore does not make you stylish here, it instantly marks you as a perpetual tourist and outsider.)

    Plus she’s always on about how cultured Gnu Yawpuhs are and then she never reads anything more challenging than fucking Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz. Any mention of Truman Capote or Dorothy Parker goes over her head like low-flying aircraft. To her the Algonquin Circle might as well be the new pattern Prada is using for scarves this season. I once quite seriously announced to her that Edith Wharton wrote “Vanity Fair” and she BELIEVED me.

    I mean – pay attention, lady. Which town is more fashionable and trendsetting? Fashion Week gets local coverage – nobody in L.A. even knows when it is, if they’ve heard of it at all. The Oscars get national coverage – HELLO?! Plus she made a big deal out of the fact that she learned to drive, when every kid in L.A. over the age of sixteen can drive.

    Plus – sorry, it may be charming chutzpah in New York, but in L.A., we call it “being an asshole.” Thank you, good night.

    “Looks like another perfect day…
    I love L.A.!!!”

    Sunday, September 24, 2006 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  10. Mary wrote:

    ………Let’s not forget about New Jersey!

    Thursday, October 5, 2006 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  11. Frank wrote:

    Don’t kid yourself. There is only NY and LA. Mostly, there is only NY. Yes, it sucks. Too bad. It’s the only place people can grow, instead of staple crops.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

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