I love New York. I love brunch and concrete. I love to never worry about parking or car payments. I love to have literally anything I can think of delivered. I don’t mind living in tiny spaces; I like them. When I was little, I begged my dad to get us a trailer so we could live there instead of our house, which I think scared me with its multiple rooms. Now, instead of going home and thinking what a silly little kid I was for feeling lost in our lovely but not overly large house, it seems bigger to me, like my parents live in a vast, echo-y cavern of luxury. New York taught me that perspective.
I love that there are shops that only sell cheese. Most of all, I love my personal catch-phrase, “This is the city”, meaning, Obviously your green curry is spicy, No big deal that that girl has a single piercing going from the webbing of her hand to the nape of her neck, Yes the subway is smelly as Hell’s outhouse. “This is the city” at once sums up what’s great and horrible about New York: the city is amazing and everyone who lives here acts like an asshole about it.
It’s the perk of living in a place that reeks of urine and crushed dreams. It’s the perk of paying exorbitant rent and costs of living. We get to gloat about it and be close to everything that is cool. Oh, you like to be served Ethiopian food while sitting on the floor and watching stand-up comedy? I know a place in the village. You only wear leather made from cows who committed suicide? There’s a shop in Brooklyn. You like to day drink all day, every day, but are afraid of being shunned by society? This is the city; do you.
The secret that no New Yorker wants revealed is that for all our vegan bakeries and Broadway shows, everyone loses their shit for Target. Rich or poor, inhabitant of the Bronx or Tribecca, everyone loves those $19.99 soft cotton sheets. Seeing the Archer Farms brand of oatmeal on a fellow New Yorker’s pantry shelf fills one with respect and envy. One may question her friend about what else was purchased on such a pilgrimage. Did the quest begin with linens and blossom from there? Was furniture involved? Did said friend purchase food for immediate consumption, conveniently available inside the store for hungry shoppers to luxuriously take breaks from so much savings?
We go to our Peruvian brunches and ironically comment on the suburbs. We wear fringe on things that don’t require fringe and see plays in small theaters with controversial subject matter. We read the New York Times on our phones and smugly call it the “local paper.” This is all well and good. We are cool, shockingly so. But no one is too cool for Target.