What percentage of midwestern kids who consider New York City to be some sort of ideal, Mecca-like destination are getting 100% of their information about it from watching "Sex and the City"?

All of them. Well, we can count "Friends" and "Seinfeld" too.

Let ginandtacos.com set a few things straight for all the "God, NYC is so fuckin' awesome, I'm totally moving there" crowd. Public service is always our #1 priority.

  • "Rent Control", a phrase with which you are familiar entirely because of Sarah Jessica Parker, is something that all 10 million people in New York are fighting to get. There is a long, long waiting list and midwestern transplants are not at the top of it. Here is an excellent article by raging conservative Paul Krugman explaining why A) rent control is retarded and B) you're not going to get it.
  • You are not the only person who came up with the idea of moving out there to get a non-job such as housesitting, being a DJ, tending bar, walking dogs, being a professional shopper, etc. With a million people moving there a year with these ideas in their head, the odds are strongly in favor of you, like those who went before you, waiting tables for a wage that will not meet your non-rent-controlled rent (see above point for a refresher on why you will not be getting the rent control Ms. Parker told you about).
  • The people you meet in NYC will be, for the most part, the exact same mixture of assholes, hipsters, nice people, intelligent people, and morons that you will meet in any other city. One advantage you will notice is that your friends in NYC will most likely be poorer and underemployed.
  • Not having a car is not a catch-all solution to economizing your cost of living. No one has a car there, we already know that. And we also know that this fact comes nowhere close to offsetting the cost of MetroCards, cabs, deliveries, and higher costs of everything. The first time you go to a $10 movie or saddle up to a bar for a $5 bottle of Pabst, the economics will start to make sense to you.
  • After a year passes and the novelty wears off, New York (a city which I honestly like very much) will have all of its illusions washed away and you will see it for what it is: dirty, stuffed to the gills with people, expensive, and home to some of the most pervasive poverty west of Calcutta. Just like any other city.
  • Whatever friends or acquaintances you have in NYC are not going to be able to change any of these facts for you. Knowing someone is not a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for all of the negative aspects of the city.
  • Whatever skills you may posess will be irrelevant in a city where a few million other people have the same skills.
  • When you slink back to the midwest, we will know exactly why you are doing so. Any attempts to play it off as a choice you made, rather than one that was made for you, will demean us all.

    In short, I love New York City and all the people I know there. At the same time, I am choking back bile at this point from listening to people who grew up in Palatine talk about how it is a paradise that will solve all their problems. If you're bored, lonely, and unhappy, you'll be the same when you get there. The difference is that you will be much poorer. New Yorkers are not, contrary to their own opinions and glamorization in the media, the finest people on Earth; they are merely the most numerous.

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    1. J. Dryden Says:

      Another important bullet point: What with the gradual Starbucksification of the U.S., the 'Unique New York Experience' is going to be really hard to locate. The Rainbow Room and the Russian Tea Room and such famous places are closed (along with, praise be to Allah, 'Cats'), replaced by a Times Square that's essentially an enormous Virgin MegaStore/Disney Outlet, a McDonald's on every other block, and slighter larger versions of chain retail stores. What's going to be really disappointing to those folks from Palatine is that they're going to be doing/seeing/buying the same exact crap they did/saw/bought in Palatine, only paying a whole lot more to do it. But hey, those big stone lions outside the library you will not go into ARE pretty cool to look at.

    2. err Says:


    3. Ed Says:

      I see the score as:

      Ed – 1
      Chicagoans who end up living outdoors in NYC – 0

    4. kat Says:

      yes. well, i lasted two years and never did go into that library that i passed every day. i did get to see david blaine standing on that huge trashcan of a stand, though. i also have yet to find a replacement for h & h bagels. i still say that city is, indeed, fucking awesome.

    5. tom Says:

      ok i only had to sleep in a doorway on bedford ave 1 night so far (i also slept 1 night on the A train.)
      i'm currently staying in a nice apartment rent-free as a housekeeper/personal assistant for a very busy non-profiteer.
      at least in my narrow field (open source web development) there are far more opportunities for work here (last year, i got 2 freelance jobs in chicago, both lasted about 2 months. currently i have 1 freelance job in nyc and since i posted my resume on craigslist 2 weeks ago i've had about 6 offers for work come to me) and nobody blinks when i quote $40/hr for a job, except to give me a look like "is that it?" once i get established here i'll start asking $60/hr like everyone else. mind you i have over 5 years experience in my profession and a decent body of work to show for it. don't expect the same if you're 19 or have a useless liberal arts degree.
      there's alot of bullshit "art" going on in this city (all of Williamsburg) but there's also alot more opportunity to come into contact with well-known/well-established people though fairly accessable means.
      again though i'm 29 and i lived in a real city for a few years before i moved here. you can tell the ones who just showed up from iowa – the 20yearolds who oant to turn bedford avenue and are getting laughed at by everyone in brooklyn over the age of 40.
      it is possible to get a non-shoebox apartment in the neighborhood of your choice for less than 3/4ths of your income. i met a girl who had a really nice 2 bedroom place on the lower east side (4th floor walkup, but what isn't) because she was a smart and somewhat predatory tennant. she moved into a building that had code violations (what building doesnt?) and then sued the landlord to make repairs (in this case, replacing a badly warped floor). i dont' remember exactly what her legal grounds were, but she ended up getting a settlement from the owner by which he'd make the repairs to the unit and give her a 3 year lease at half the previous rate. i think if she had gone ahead with the suit and won she was entitled for triple her money back on rent already paid. this is only 1 case that i know of and she did make securing this apartment practically a fulltime job for awhile, but it paid off. still, in that neighborhood you're more likely to end up with a $2000/month place that has the toilet in a closet so small you can't sit down with the door closed and a bathtub next to the stove.
      there is a class of douchebags that pass up cities like chicago and settle here right out of college, or highschool. luckily they mostly congregate around williamsburg and can be circumvented.
      manhattan is becoming more generic by the day. the inner parts of brooklyn too. most of manhattan is a theme park for drunks and conspicuous consumers. the "unique NY" experience happens in Bushwick these days.
      i also think people are much friendlier here than in chicago and much more likely to help each other out, provided again, that you meet "real" new yorkers. i'm not saying that the real ones are longtime residents or natives, but that they understand the difficulties and opportunities of living in a big city (not just being a lifestyle tourist) and watch out for each other. in chicago i've found that people are more cliqueish and harder to get to know at first.
      there are far far far more attractive and available single women in this city than anyother place in america. the first weekend in town i went to a lesbian bar on a sunday night and had no less than 3 different girls try to take me home with them. most of the single men under 35 here are gay or pathetic wimpsters – just not being either of those 2 will make the 99th percentile of hot women available to you.

    6. tom Says:

      i need stralow or flax to get on here and back me up.
      what i'll probably end up with it seth going on about sharing a taxi with parker posey.

    7. erik Says:

      I have no opinions about New York whatsoever.

    8. kat Says:

      i can't really say that ny is better than the rest of the world, but where else can one see people dressed as large butterflies roller skating down the street or a guy whose put his little doggie in plad baby booties? oh. wait. here in san francisco. nevermind.

    9. Dave. Says:

      This is quite interesting for me, as I've always viewed New York as 'That grubby shithole with the museums.' This is based, as stated, on television and movies. Oh sure, it's cool that Spider-Man lives there, but what are the chances of me bumping into him on holiday? Pretty fucking limited. Until he's available for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs: Fuck you New York. Fuck you in your stupid asses.

    10. Dave. Says:

      Also Tom, I can't believe a man who can write that much doesn't know what a paragraph is.

    11. Ed Says:

      While we're on the subject, London kinda sucks too.

    12. Dave Says:

      London might actually be Hell. There's certainly enough evidence to suggest that.

    13. J. Dryden Says:

      Careful, now–remember what Samuel Johnson said: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."

      Of course, life sucks, so by implication…

    14. Dave Says:

      Samuel Johnson said that when the streets of London ran deep with excrement. I really fail to see what he expected for a standard of living.

      Though wading through shit is better that paying

    15. J. Dryden Says:

      Kind of a fine distinction, there. Then again, we're talking about clubs that can't make decent ICE CUBES, for the love of Jeebus.

    16. Dave Says:

      Not even sweet zombie Jeebus will save you in the hell that is London. I'm gonna emigrate, just as soon as I can find somewhere that wants me.

    17. kat Says:

      sweet zombie Jeebus? ooo. that's fantastic.

    18. Dave Says:

      I took two of Matt Groenings best jokes, tried to pass them off as my own there. I'm empty inside.

    19. RC Says:

      New York and London are cool to visit, but the amount of bullshit ingrained with living in either place is not worth it. I'd rather be a straight-commission bacon salesman whose call lists are kosher delis.