My fellow anarchists of New York City:
OK, it looks like the jig is up. The government is on to us. The White House recently labeled New York City an “anarchist jurisdiction,” along with those felt-wearing, Teva-sniffers in Portland and Seattle.
Come on! The first rule of New York City Anarchy Club is nobody talks about New York City Anarchy Club.
Who squealed to the Feds?Still: There’s nothing to be embarrassed by.
If you live in New York City, you know anarchy isn’t a dirty word—it’s a lifestyle. This is a town that gave the world the chaotic greatness of the Ramones, Lou Reed, Public Enemy, street-cleaning double-parking and the 1986 Mets. This is town where jaywalking is a right, where a crosswalk is a mere suggestion, where real-estate agents show studio apartments with toilets in the kitchens, and, if you don’t give a stranger a middle finger before 9 a.m., you’re livingThis town embraces chaos. New York City is home to LaGuardia Airport, the most haywire travel hub in the history of humankind. Have you ever flown out of LaGuardia? When they scan your ticket, they just look at you, laugh, and say “Sorry.” If you haven’t been delayed six hours at LaGuardia and eaten a soft pretzel for dinner, you’re not officially a New Yorker.
Anarchy is in the water here, like fluoride, and toilet alligators. New York City remains a place where you can order weed and a lobster at 2 a.m., where people light fireworks on a Tuesday night just because, and if you can’t fit your brand new couch up your staircase, some guy named Gus will come with a chain saw and slice it up right there on the sidewalk, like a brisket. Then Gus will carry your Frankencouch upstairs and magically stitch it together—all for the low, low price of $1100.
Everyone knows this. None of it is new. I don’t get what point the Feds are trying to make.
Have the Feds ever stepped into a New York City Trader Joe’s on a Sunday? Have the Feds ever tried to call an NYC cable company and asked them to fix the cable? Have the Feds ever been to a Brooklyn open house for a two-bedroom apartment under $1 million?
Have the Feds ever watched the Knicks?
They have no idea what anarchy is.This is what the White House and all those hand-wringing polemicists don’t understand about New York. They see the crazy in the city and think it’s a negative. They don’t get it: People come to New York for the crazy. If you want to be boring and follow the rules, move to Greenwich.
Yes: There are reports that some New Yorkers are fleeing town, escaping to mellower communities with open space, bad pizza and pigeons that don’t smoke cigarettes. Good luck to all of them. We’ll still try and help you find “Hamilton” tickets when Broadway reopens.
The truth is, New York right now could use more anarchy, not less. This city is fighting back, but it’s still a little quiet. The busy places aren’t so busy. Times Square is milder than a Wisconsin suburb. Midtown is a desert. You can usually get a seat on the train. Traffic is crawling back, but it’s not yet to skull-crushing, I-may-die-in-this-taxi levels.
This is the weirdest part: New Yorkers are saying hi to each other. We’re looking out.
They won’t tell this version of the story on cable news, but New York City is actually a pretty nice place to live now. This concrete town has faced plenty of crises, and it always finds its way back. Shhhhh. Please don’t tell anyone—especially the Feds.