As a native New Yorker and second-generation American millennial, I’ve seen the city transform into something of a whimsical post-adolescent playground for transplants and a death cauldron for immigrants. I feel like an impotent observer standing on the deck of the Titanic as it sails toward destruction, watching the majority of the passengers amusing themselves with $14 craft salads and industrial chic photo-ops.
I for one have always dreaded the thought of having to travel in and out of Brooklyn, yet so many yuppies are drawn to it like flies to a flame. Most of the American transplants to the Big Apple do very little to immerse themselves in New York’s ethos and fare worse than those who just arrived from the Tibet Autonomous Region. After two to five years of failure, they go right back to Weaseltown, ‘Merica and now, with the Covid shutdown and the ongoing Brazilification of the Tri-State region, the exodus of white liberals will undoubtedly accelerate. I can honestly say I have yet to meet a white homeowner in New York who is from another state.
I once shared a cab with Rick Lazio, a former politician most famous for running against Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate in 2000, way out on Long Island at the crack of dawn after a night of urban debauchery. After the Punjabi taxi driver recognized him and started up a polite conversation, I asked Mr. Lazio what will come of all these million-dollar houses with such ludicrous property taxes if there is barely any family formation, especially within the native middle class? (Property tax for a six-figure house on Long Island is $30,000 annually, give or take.) He gave me a typical parroted politician talking point about how “you’ll always have the people from the city come out here to live.” Be as that may be, a few years ago my high school decided not to hold a 10-year reunion since most of my graduating class no longer lives in New York.
The majority of household wealth built up on Long Island over the past 30-odd years was accumulated by union workers such as teachers, police, civil servants, electricians, truckers, plumbers, etc. It was not done by a 35-year-old restaurant manager still struggling with college debt and paying $350 for a monthly railroad pass. So what possessed these gentrifying woke worriers to come to New York, only to share a studio apartment with a total stranger and catch bedbugs from Mr. Iqbal Alam on the 2nd floor?
Ah yes, but there is New York’s appeal to the ambitious: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” This stems from an amalgamation of influences on the two sexes.
One of them is the career opportunities offering an illusory portal to wealth. All these young, impressionable, newly minted college grads jockeying for position. Sadly, for most, their big-money fast aspirations will dissipate as they find themselves stuck in lower- to middle-tier management, with those in the upper echelon patronizingly assuring them that “this is good job experience for you.”
Second is peer and social pressure. Parents want to live vicariously through their children. They want the best for their next of kin and want them to do better than they did. So they begin to project their fantasies and rightfully so, after all she’s a star! Captain of the Marist College track team, she returns home on break to take part in various virtue-signaling events. He finished top in his class with a Regents with Honors and is a talented guitar player. No parent wants to explain to their neighbor that Brittney is a hairdresser at the corner and Robert is working in sanitation for the county. What a crowning achievement to slap a university sticker on the back of the family SUV. The pressure to perform is the backbone of proletariat culture.
American women have been raised like men minus any form of responsibility (hypoagency) because no matter what they do, daddy’s Visa or Mastercard tab is open and bottomless. In recent years, daddy has been supplanted by the sugardaddy. There is this fictitious idea that she can work corporate, marry a man who does not exist on the socio-sexual hierarchy and live happily ever after. This is what I like to call Perpetual Disney Dreams. City ads help foster this dream during her daily drudgery. “Ducking out for an early lunch? Shh! No one will know. You got this girl!”
Millennial woman consciously pine for a bygone era, the idea of being a part of the leisure class, which was fostered by Hollywood with such works as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Gossip Girl and of course Sex and the City. But today’s cinematic New York is no longer about all-you-can-drink champagne brunches but rather 2 Broke Girls, or worse, SMILF.
Men on the other hand look to suffer short-term, working and living to shove off in their later years for greener pastures. Look no further than Hispanic union workers with dual citizenship. They delay gratification to build compounds in their respective homelands but at a heavy cost.
For the disposable male pleb, the city is strictly commercial and has little to no refuge from mammon. His environment is hostile as he tries to navigate the concrete jungle of HR, sociopathic employers, alphabet soup bureaucracies, radical feminists, slumlords and a constellation of foreigners. He has volatile interpersonal encounters where the behavioral rules are fraught with contradictions.
For some men, the FOMO effect coupled with the bleak long-term economic outlook gives rise to YOLO city indulgences such as lavish meals and visits to the Lucky Lucky 777 Golden Foot Spa. It would take much longer for these types to dislodge themselves from the city rat wheel.
Nightlife? How does blowing it all on drinks with a 300% markup at a gay bar or a bar that’s not supposed to have gays in it but still has gays in it sound? $50 covers cool with you? How about a concert where performers phone it in because the crowd (usually gays) is unenthused or easily distracted. Did I mention gays? Getting home? The subway service is always out of operation for never-ending repairs after 11pm; hell, it can be out of commission during rush hour.
Lifestyle? For her it isn’t too bad considering she’s at peak sexual market value, but she is quickly discarded by men because she has developed a bad habit of sleeping with married hedge fund managers, unbeknownst to her friends or family. Despite her status as a failed InstaThot, she’s still able to upload a photo of her flashing the V-sign in Dumbo, a Michael Kors bag slung around her shoulder – provided by you guessed it!
For him it’s about finding a niche and cutting costs and corners. He’ll indulge in pot smoking, porn and mind-numbing video games as his work routine leaves him mentally exhausted into the weekend. He cannot have any toys because his living space is too small. Maybe he will get a motorcycle (hopefully it doesn’t get stolen) and uploads a picture of it with a jacket he bought on Madison Avenue.
Naturally all this runs its course, the man leaves, has a midlife crisis and indulges in his own form of retail therapy. Buys a condo or reinvents himself as a haggard sexpat in the Far East or South America.
She regresses and becomes a social hermit popping SSRI’s or the well-known wine cooler aunt in upstate New York, maybe moves back in with her parents and rescues a dog(s).
City life is a series of unstable flickering images and its serfs are finding it more and more difficult to achieve continuity and permanence. Fahgettaboudit!