observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Monday, July 23, 2007

"A nice place to visit but I could never live here"

go home then

I am so sick of non-New Yorkers thinly veiled slaps in the face saying 'I could never raise a child in New York' or 'I can't imagine living in New York'

Let's be clear. Your smug pseudo condescending comments are a direct insult to me, my wife, our kids, my parents and in-laws. Your bonehead comment implies there was an inherent deficiency in my upbringing and that I am passing on the same negligence to Boogie and The Bea. How dare you? Who the f**k do you think you are (woman from Dallas with too much make up on who sat at our table Sunday morning)?

My parents busted their ass and raised three fine children in New York. The Bronx and Harlem to be exact. There is nothing wrong growing up in the city. I spent high school and college in sleepy little towns and trust me it ain’t no picnic. Suburban homogenized communities scare me as much as the subway does you. The reality is that there are positives and negatives in this situation as there are everywhere. But somehow my city gets the short end of the stick based on several asinine misconceptions which I shall now debunk.

- Living in the city is expensive.
True, dollar for dollar our prices are high. However, this common attack glosses over some suburban fixed costs and NYC savings.
In the 'burbs you need a car for the most part. A car to get to work, to shop for food, to go to the strip club, etc. So to your rosy suburban budget add a car note, insurance, gas, and maintenance.
In the city a car is nice but far from necessary. The largest public transit system can get you from the beach to Tribeca for $2.

-You get more space out of the city.
And with this space come expenses. Higher property taxes, landscaping, higher utilities in order to heat and cool the square footage. The consolidation in the city does cause crowding but it is more efficient in terms of all of the above.

-It is hard to make ends meet living in the city.
Yes, but you can earn more in the city. Outside of teachers, cops and firefighters you can make more living here. If you are on your hustle this is the only place to be. Want a safe check, keep your head down and work up the corporate ladder you are better off somewhere in Jersey or Dallas.
Want to be the next Russell, Charles Schultz, Tom Brockaw, Leonard Lopate, Bloomberg, Crazy Legs or Ralph Lauren get a crib in BK.

-The city is crowded/there are no trees.
Ok Huck and Tom if you want to ‘nature boy’ it you should leave but if you want green space I ask you to visit the following parks before you pop shit: Fort Greene, Prospect, Central, Battery, Flushing Meadows, Brooklyn Bridge, Pelham Bay and the list goes on. If that is not enough golf, horseback riding, baseballs, kayaking for you get on the LIRR or Metro North and take a 30 minute ride North or East.

-and while you are suffering through the hell that is NYC try and make it to a Yankees, Knicks, or Mets game (transport $2). Or go to a Broadway show, or the Met or MoMa. And if you are broke, no worries go to The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, Siren, SummerStage, or any of the smaller free concerts throughout the summer. Call me crazy but I don’t recall the same level of culture in Podunk, Anywhere, USA

-One thing I can’t front on is the school system. A parent does have to work hard to provide a top flight edumication in the city. Belts have to be tightened, prayers must be answered and more. But don’t trip you are paying too. Via the aforementioned property tax.

This city is dope. It is alive with Orthodox Jews, Rastas, WASP’s, JAP’s, Italians, Jamaicans, Irish, BAP’s, soccer players, cricket players, lacrosse players, Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Spaniards, Frenchmen, men, women, and children. I am not knocking the suburban hustle. When the papes come I will have a place out of the city. Stop knocking mine.

I am living and having fun in the city. My son is smart, sweet, and polite. My daughter will be the same. If it’s not for you – fine. But respect me and mine.

I can’t see doing it anywhere else.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post wes.

also, you probably saw this but interesting article on jive from the nyt. reminded me of your post on the subject:


wall st. backpaker

July 24, 2007 3:06 AM

Blogger Wes said...

no doubt I caught that Times piece.

The Times also took a shot at the Siren Fest and shouted us out http://tinyurl.com/23nrw3

July 24, 2007 11:03 AM

Anonymous westernqueensland said...

Man, I get so vexed by my friends who live in other parts of the country. There is an assumption that we are the evil un-green here in NYC (I lived in Berkeley CA, where pretensions of ecology flourish). Truth be told our carbon footprint is about 1/3 that of the average hiking-skiing-outdoorsy californian.

We're fixing to turn our back on another of the American Dreams because we got a Mitchell Lama coop in Queens, and it is hard to imagine that we're not supposed to own (like our Cali Friends). The pull is hard to conform to American Consumerism but we have to be able to think outside the box on this one.

When people say they can't imagine raising kids here, they forget that participating in humanity (meeting people we don't drive someplace to meet) is a gift from G_d. The arrogance of the white flight suburbanites always twists my knickers.

Great post, and I'll be back.

September 16, 2007 9:45 PM


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