There is no shortage of celebs telling us they have NYC sorted. First Taylor Swift did it and now Chloe Sevigny’s has made her contribution and at least she’s been here for quite a few years so it doesn’t grate quite as much. But why did they do it. Why assume New Yorkers need a guide to their own city?
Chloe Sevigny is a great person but in this song she hits every NYC cliche, bodegas, Central Park, crazies, slushy streets in winter and the general disconnectedness of New Yorkers which she well knows is how everyone survives while 55 million tourists a year stare at the natives with various degrees of awe, disgust and amazement. She finishes by saying the place is addictive and she can’t wait to get home but all you’ve done chloe is hit the easy targgets and New Yorkers and New York deserve better.
NYC provides the greatest culture shock available in the country. It is ‘overwhelm’ central and I’m secretly convinced all these songs to New York are a kind of pat on the back to the singer for having survived the transplant process from somewhere else. So yes it is hard and you’ve ‘done good’. but so has every other New Yorker.
Superificially everyone can look as though they fit in and they have it sorted. But NYC by its very nature is in a state of constant change. Holding your center while it all happens around you is hard work. Sticking by who you are when millions of new Yorkers have their loud hailers out insisting they are the best, the brightest and the most fashionable is hard work. Creating a familiar and easeful space which truly nurtures you in the midst of noise, grime and so many people is hard work.
You will get more opportunities than anywhere else, you will find more inspiration and creativity than you thought can exist, you will be overwhelmed by people’s kindness and care and make deeper connections than has ever seemed possible but the place, New York city, that gives you all this, is not easy. So Taylor and Chloe we honor your journeys but we also ask you to honor ours.