Jason Crombie once declared that he was leaving New York after calling it home for some fifteen odd years.
To celebrate, he penned a list of 9 things he won’t miss about New York, including lack of space, other Australians, and NYU. You can read his full list here. Zach Baker decided to pen a reply to Crombie’s list, and we’ve decided to publish it. Here he is with his ‘9 Reasons I’m Not Leaving New York.’
I know, I know. It’s expensive and it’s lost its spunk and it’s overrun with a bunch of needledicks in going-out shirts from Connecticut or wherever. But fuck it. There’s no shithole in these wide, diverse, 50 states that I’d rather call home.
I was on the subway once and one of those insane homophobic preachers got on. In the middle of his disgusting shpiel, a woman ripped out her headphones and started drowning him out, singing opera at the top of her lungs. A group of older folk at the other end got heated, telling her to “let the man talk.” Then a Spanish guy sitting near the opera singer called her a bitch and told her to shut the fuck up. Then we got to the next stop and then she told him to step off because she was going to beat the shit out of him. Then a bunch of hot girls got on at 14th Street. There is no better viewing gallery for the highs and lows of humanity than the NYC subway.
SEEING D-LIST CELEBRITIES
Yeah, I see all types of models and fucking Jake Gyllenhaal on the regular, but what really gets my heart fluttering is when I bump into some guy who held down a supporting role in one season of Deadwood, or some random sidepiece from Mad Men. I have a knack for it and it brings me great joy to be like, ‘Yo man, you were really great in Oz‘ to some sad or drunk guy who clearly has seen little success since. It fans the embers of their piddly egos while giving me the strange, self-serving delight of playing a human crossword.
USING MY U.S. CITIZENSHIP TO MAKE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
There are hundreds of thousands of people living here from all over the world—legally or otherwise. Visas are expensive, and citizenship is expensive and hard to get. You know what’s not hard to get? My slutty asses hand in marriage for a few thousand dollars. You don’t have to bang me, just pay me, and you’ll be a yodelin’ good ol’ boy like the rest of us in just a few years time. I obviously haven’t done it, but just the prospect of meeting that special busboy is more than enough to get me out of bed in the morning.
Rap was born here. It’s been adulterated, boiled down, stretched out, and used by some to promote thrift store bargain hunting while others use it to sell app subscriptions and season tickets. But, rap is rap, and New York made rap. I’m sure I’d be just as down with the genre living in Des Moines, Iowa, or something, but I couldn’t blast the shit from my Jeep after sundown without the fear of a stern tazing from the mighty arm of the law. Plus, that D-list celebrity thing definitely also works for rappers. Sup Shyheim?
MY SHITTY APARTMENT
My building is one of those five-story slummy diddles in Harlem where the Dominican families blast floor-rattling bachata at all hours. Dudes who don’t even live here smoke Ls in the stairwell, and more often than not, you’ll have to hurdle over puddles of 4 Loko and Dutch guts just to get out the door. There’s a child across the courtyard who shrieks all night, and the sidewalk is riddled with unattended 7-year-olds all hopped up on caffeine and sour straws just wishing that you’d say something to them because they’re ready and willing to fuck you up. What’s tight about that? It means that whatever I want to do, I can fucking do. I could cook meth for all they care. Granted, if I lived somewhere a little, ahem, whiter, none of this shit would fly. This town has for sure gone soft, but you gotta just stay out of those zones unless you’re gluten-free or something.
GETTING PISSED AT EVERYONE
Getting pissed at people is the best! Especially in this New-New York, where blowing up on fashionistas and NYUers can be a true delight. I get a semi getting caught behind some window-shoppin’ Euro, or when I step out in front of a cyclist, because here, we’re always down to talk, shout, or shriek it out. A third of the time it ends amicably with a smiling, “You know what, how about you go fuck yourself!” and if not, they can totally go fuck themselves. The U.S. was founded on the rich, oral tradition of shit talking. Paul Revere calling the King a pussy is what started the American Revolution.
NOT NEEDING A CAR
I guess there are plenty of people in this town who do have cars but they’re basically rich or have kids, both of which are boring. What’s not boring is getting as hammered as humanly possible, getting on the subway for $2.75, sleeping past your stop, waking up twenty miles from home surrounded by people on their way to work, going back to sleep, getting home six hours later and starting your day. Cars are for people with responsibilities. Fuck ‘em.
This is one of the world capitals of huffing butts and I love it for that. It’s like Hong Kong, Paris, then New York. They love butts here. They got expensive, but if you’re not an idiot you know where to get them tax-free, or you can cop cartons out-of-state and keep them in the freezer. The west coast treats you like a pederast if you spark up in public, but here, pregnant chicks chain smoke and children start smoking before they learn cursive. Oh yeah, we know: they’ll kill you. How about you live a little first, huh, guy? You’re already dead. Come to New York and we’ll welcome your habits with open arms.
I’ve thought about the idea of packing it in and getting a little house in the country with some crops and a chicken coop where I can hone my pickling skills and take up the banjo. But who the hell would want to want to visit my sorry ass? New York is home to some of the best people I’ve ever met, and if it’s not, they can’t wait to visit. Skaters, deadbeats, professors, social workers, “creatives”: the cast of characters is limitless and is truly what makes the city so desirable. If you can’t handle this town it’s because you haven’t surrounded yourself with the right group of people in it, and if that’s the case, then forking over the scratch, overworking, and treating your body like shit really isn’t worth it. I get it. You totally shouldn’t live here. You should move. You should get the fuck out.
Crombie: We’ll miss you brother. Ladies really old and really young are heartbroken city-wide. You’ve made us laugh, you’ve made us puke. But it’s time to go. I hope enjoy your perfect mangos and white sand beaches, ‘cause we’re fuckin’ through with you.