Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ADVICE FROM A FAN. Andrew Sullivan:
Adjustment to NYC is a process. A really long, exasperating, draining process. Do you just have to harden yourself to live as if this is normal? Or will it get better? Please tell me it gets better.
No, it doesn't get better. It's always difficult and if you're used to living in a sleepy southern town where a plurality of the tiny population kisses your ass, you will find the general indifference of New York to your enormous self-regard maddening. And if you're used to dawdling along the sidewalk waiting for some Congressional aide to recognize you, you'll get knocked over by someone hurrying to get to a minimum-wage job. Now why don't you go find Martin Amis out at his $2.5 million brownstone in prelapsarian Brooklyn and talk about the damn Mooslims until you feel better? Only make sure you take the number of a car service for the ride home, because the streets are full of damned Mooslims and once they find out you're here they'll swarm you screaming Allah Akbar and saw your stupid head off.

Oh, and Sully, here's someone who had an actual hard time with her apartment in New York. But, to be fair, maybe her wireless service was better than yours.

Christ Jesus what a privileged fucking simp.



    I saw this Sully post earlier and actually considered sending him an email to explain that most of the things he mentioned as negatives in his post are actually addictive, and why everywhere else seems lame after living in New York. But then I came to my senses and realized that the last thing I want is to persuade Sully to STAY in New York....

  2. XeckyGilchrist10:15 PM

    Why do people pay attention to this guy, again? From my fifth column enclave in flyover country, I suggest that he can get bent.

  3. Leeds man10:15 PM

    Et in Arcadia ego, motherfucker.

    Give the guy a break. He was brought up in East Grinstead.

  4. Great Fiorello's Ghost. The mdslet loved Manhattan on our recent trip there. Central Park, the sidewalks, the doormen, the freakin' subway ... He was pleased beyond my expectations. And he's three. Can he have Sullivan's job? I guarantee a noticeable increase in intellectual rigor.

  5. Another Kiwi11:08 PM

    Won't "The Bell Curve" have useful tips for him?

  6. "I had to go into the Beast offices to live-blog Obama's implosion."

    This is the saddest story I have ever heard.

  7. DocAmazing11:17 PM

    I thin he'd be better served by a long stay at the New York New York casino in Las Vegas. Reality is so bothersome; a good simulation does the job.

  8. M. Krebs11:23 PM

    But did he ever listen to the Higsons?

  9. Well, I mean, when the cable goes out there's just nothing to do in that damned city.

  10. BG, ribbons in my hair12:19 AM

    Dear Andrew,

    You are free to leave any time you like and go back to whatever place you consider "normal."


  11. From an anonymous commenter at the Who Is IOZ blog about six years ago:

    "Thanks for the rare mention of Sullivan's trashing of Sontag, which I
    believe he began after she wrote the Talk of the Town piece in the week
    following 9.ll, though I may be wrong.
    Leave it to a man of the
    detestable manners of Sullivan to essentially attack the widow for her
    comportment at a funeral, and when everything she said was from the
    heart and on the nose. Sullivan, who misunderstands New York
    completely, let his elbows fly to position himself as the most
    significant mourner for months after the tragedy, choking up at Fire
    Island sunsets and writing about it, so we'd all know it was he behind
    the veil. This repulsive posturing primed the pump for his grand
    eruption, in support of Bush and the war, because his pain must be

    Sontag could fill big intense halls in Manhattan with
    appreciative crowds whenever she spoke and she loved the city too. The
    New Yorker chose her out of its vast resources of available authors to
    write for its first post attack issue because she was a woman of moral
    thought who contributed to civilization and art.

    Incapable of
    understanding any of those virtues, poor, obscene Sullivan, a man who
    thinks the 80s art scene was about Madonna, must have been so mystified
    by the choice."

  12. Yeah, funny how so many things are much easier when you've got money, huh?

  13. Sully had to suffer to show off his suffering.

  14. redoubt12:46 AM

    I've never even been to New York, and even I know whiny entitled BS when I read it. It's like he's looking for a batman, and wound up with Batman.

  15. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard1:41 AM

    I want to let this hen out so it can frolic with this comment.

  16. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard1:44 AM

    I shudder at the thought of giving this clown a pageview, but I may have to go for some mangoes. The thing about NYC is that it's bigger than you, no matter who you are. If you expect to meet the city on your own terms, you're going to lose... better to just dive in head-first and revel in the glorious, overwhelming experience that is this city. Sully's problem is his ego... well, that and his fear.

  17. Well, it's Sully, so there are no mangoes. But his complaints are as follows: slower Internet, troubles with furniture delivery, no DVR, the streets are noisy and everything's too expensive. I really didn't think anyone could make McArdle seem mature and dignified, but this comes very close.

  18. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard1:57 AM

    Fuck, I went for the mangoes. All of Sullivan's problems deal with his difficulties in setting up housekeeping. The stupid knee-biter bitches about the difficulties he's finding when he's trying to set up a cloistered existence in a city which is more conducive to public life than any other American city. He's complaining about his cable, and the delivery of a TV, when he's living within a stone's throw of a vast number of bars, cafes, galleries, museums et al.- he's bitching about Best Buy and Time Warner when he should be making friends with the local bartenders and baristas.

    Funny, he ends his column with "Please tell me it get's better", but he doesn't allow comments- one could be led to believe that this is a rhetorical utterance.

  19. Sgaile-beairt7:41 AM

    but hasnt he been living in MA for all these long years?? i know things are slower AT the Cape but nightmareish traffic is the rule of the day in eastern Mass and Boston does a really good job of being crowded & expensive despite being so much smaller than NYC....!

  20. BigHank538:06 AM

    I think he's actually rendered a public service for once in his life: pulling off his mask to reveal the timid suburbanite within. That seems to be what he really wants--a nice quiet tree-lined street in a town where the repairmen show up on time and aren't a funny color that makes you uncomfortable, and you never have to go outside and deal with your neighbors.

    There's some kind of nasty hollowness within Sullivan. Remember how he attacked a military pilot who observed he'd rather deliver relief supplies to tsunami victims than fly into Afghanistan? How about last week's meltdown over Obama's debate performance? Or any of the angry, self-pitying pearl-clutching in between?

    Please tell me it gets better.

    Well, Andrew, given that the problem seems to be with you,and not the world, i don't have a cheerful prognosis for you?

  21. MBouffant gets 10,000 nostalgia points.

  22. hitchens are you near me? hitchens can you hear me calling? hitchens can you help me not be frightened?

  23. eastriver9:36 AM

    East Grinstead?!? Holy Fuck. I ended up there by accident, missing my stop, years ago when I was 10. What a shitehole. ION, I saw Sully on the streets of Hell's Kitch a couple of years ago. I assumed he lived here, in Upper Chelsea or somewhere. He was strolling down 46th, chest thrust out, gripping a togo coffee, proud as all getout to be Sully In The Apple. Now he reveals himself to be a whiny bitch looking for cheap page hits. MOVE.

  24. Halloween_Jack9:51 AM

    I want to wake up next to this comment in a city that doesn't sleep.

  25. Uncle Kvetch9:59 AM

    Now just a minute there: Time Warner Cable should be bitched about, as often and as loudly as possible. Our dealings with them have been an absolute nightmare. Getting our broadband working reliably took 6 months and a dozen house calls. We're on our 5th or 6th DVR -- I've lost count -- the one we have now malfunctions on a regular basis, but we won't bother to replace it until it dies completely, because we know they'll just give us another "reconditioned" one that might suck even worse.

    But you know what? It has never once occurred to me to blame any of this on the fact that we live in Gomorrah-on-Hudson. That's because I've heard enough people who live elsewhere bitch with equal passion about their cable providers (and not just Time Warner, mind you). However frustrated we've gotten with TWC, we've never quite tipped over into the kind of full-blown drama queenery that leads one to ridiculous conclusions like "This would never happen if we lived in the suburbs!"

    Rather like the way the smell of smoke that lingered in the Manhattan air for weeks after 9/11 never once led us to think that invading Iraq might be a good idea. But that's Sully-Pooh in a nutshell.

    "Please tell me it get's better"

    $50 says he's outta here in a year, tops.

  26. Provider_UNE10:27 AM

    Adjustment to NYC is a process. A really long, exasperating, draining
    process. Do you just have to harden yourself to live as if this is
    normal? Or will it get better? Please tell me it gets better.

    Niggah, Please.

    Are you fucking kidding me Sully? On a tenth of whatever the assholes who foist you upon our consciousness pay you, I would be happy to deal with the "process" you find so difficult. NYC is awesome, and if I had a fucking brain, I should have left this cow-town 20 years ago, and then I would have the pleasure of considering myself privileged should we happen to cross paths, so I could kick your ass.

    Christ Jesus what a privileged fucking simp.

    Once again Roy proves that brevity is the soul of wit.

  27. KatWillow10:28 AM

    My only complaint with New York was that the sunrise was THREE hours earlier. Other than that I liked it fine. But they really ought to do something about the sunrise time.

  28. The Dark Avenger10:43 AM

    He's really into the "irish martyr" thing, isn't he?

  29. John D.10:44 AM

    I was going to say something to that effect myself: Don't any of these problems Sully is whimpering about exist in other places as well? They're not confined to NYC, are they?

    Boo fucking hoo, Andrew.

  30. Halloween_Jack10:45 AM

    BBBB has got the essence of NYC exactly correct in his previous comments, but, at the severe risk of seeming to agree with Sully, I can sympathize with him just a little. There are certain mundane details of life in NYC that seem more difficult or frustrating than they should be, even to someone who'd lived in a big city (Chicago) for some years. When I moved there some nineteen years ago, I'd planned to spend the week or so between moving in and starting my new job doing some sightseeing with someone that I was quite fond of at the time; instead, I spent most of the time trying to figure out why NYNEX was insisting that they'd activated my phone line when I had a dead jack, only to discover that the jack that I thought was mine was not in fact the one that they activated, so I spent most of the week crawling around with a handset, trying to find the live jack; once I'd found it, I then had to find an extension cord long enough to reach from it to my room. That was only the beginning.

    But, fucking hell, you're still in NYfuckingC! I went to see Shakespeare in the Park, and some years later, when I ran across the program, I looked at the cast list and thought, "Wait... those two actresses are on The Practice now." I ushered for a Brooklyn arts program that not only introduced me to Jeff Buckley and Richard Thompson, among others, but also had some pretty famous patrons; I even got to meet Lou fucking Reed, which puts me at one degree of separation from Bowie. I was paging through the Village Voice one day, saw that Johnny Rotten was signing his autobiography that day in the city, went to get in line... and met someone I'd known in library school in the midwest, and we ended up catching a concert that night. And I'm not some big-deal blogger, I was just another freshly-minted librarian from flyover country.

    And, you know, even when I was in the middle of it and not having a great time on that particular day, I think that I knew better than to bitch about it loudly in public. The mental picture that I have of Sully is of that guy who is at the next table over in the coffee shop and whines on and on and on to his companions in his outside voice, then is offended when you tell him to nut up or shut up. I don't know if I could have really settled in NYC, but I left with things still to do on my short list, and I still have days (days? seems like years, sometimes) when I'd trade places with him in a heartbeat, and not just because he probably makes a shitload more than I do.

  31. reallysmall fish11:18 AM

    My TV from Best Buy in the DC suburbs went out two weeks after the warranty ended. According to Sully this is impossible. I will have to let Best Buy know that this can never happen here.

  32. blondie11:32 AM

    Oh my, yes. Poor little Andrew and His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
    Do you suppose he even knows that some people can only access the internet through public computers at a library? Gasp, the humanity.

  33. William Burns11:43 AM

    Geez, Roy and his fellow New Yorkers once more reveal their pathetic inferiority complexes regarding DC. Look, you're not the national capital and you don't have the ability to blow up the world--deal with it.

  34. JennOfArk11:54 AM

    Ummmm...IIRC, Roy lives in DC now.

    A sphinctersayswhat?

  35. calling all toasters11:54 AM

    "This is the saddest story I have ever heard."

    Ford Madox Ford FTW!

  36. JennOfArk11:55 AM

    As much as Time Warner Cable should be bitched about, and trust me, I do believe you, Comcast Cable should be bitched about even more.

  37. Davis Statton11:59 AM

    Apropos of not much, I recently showed some friends from Prague around on their first visit to NYC. What was the first thing they wanted to do? Hail a cab! Just like in the movies.

  38. M. Krebs12:04 PM

    ... you don't have the ability to blow up the world ...

    You're forgetting that NYC is the home of Wall Street.


  40. "My only complaint with New York was that the sunrise was THREE hours earlier."

    I've noticed that too, and I live in Connecticut. What is Time-Warner Cable playing at?

  41. The Dark Avenger12:27 PM

    We have a saying in Hollywood: "I cried because I had no Oscar, and then I met a man who had no Golden Globe."

  42. Halloween_Jack12:38 PM

    I lived in Brooklyn, so I used car services and not cabs. The only time I hailed a real cab was a few days before I moved away, when my brother was in town to help me move, and he and I and a cousin of ours were going from Columbia to Sylvia's in Harlem, and I ended up yelling at the driver for taking a circuitous route to drive up the fare, like we were fucking tourists or something.

  43. BigHank5312:40 PM

    Surely we have more nostalgia points than that lying about. 35,000 would be a good starting point.

  44. quickly12:59 PM


    Nice reference! Good lord, you are a veteran.

    You don't still refer to the NYPL as "the reservoir" do you?

  45. chuckling1:31 PM

    The sidewalks are crowded? And I bet the streets are deserted by midnight. That's cause I'm betting he got an apartment near Times Square. It's comically unfortunate how many people think "New York" is Manhattan and "Manhattan" is Times Square. Not that Manhattan isn't interesting. It's the world's biggest, and second best (in my limited experience), shopping mall and it's fun to see the width and breadth of what's for sale, but there's so much more to it than that. There are thousands of other real New Yorks that are significantly more interesting, not just on their own merits, but more so when considered as a whole.

    To take just one example, I've been biking out to the Rockaways a couple times a week for a while now. If he were to ask, I'd recommend that Sullivan maybe find a place out there. It's sufficiently inconvenient to Manhattan, there's an airport and a casino nearby so it's like the rest of America in many ways. And there's even a beach that the Ramones went to at least once.

  46. Halloween_Jack1:38 PM

    No, although I was there just about long enough to pick up the habit of referring to the numbered subway lines as the IRT from lifelong inhabitants.

  47. chuckling1:56 PM

    Somewhat apropos, an interesting scene in Spike Lee's new movie, "Red Hook Summer" has one of the leads looking at Manhattan from across the river and commenting that she's only been there once or twice and can barely imagine what it's like. There's just so much unspoken reality in that scene, I find it truly awe inspiring. Periodically, I'm on a roof with artists and journalists from out of town looking out over the east river at an iconically beautiful view of Manhattan all lit up at night and I've found that to be a perfect metaphor for all that's wrong in Sullivan's world view. Like many animals we are easily lured by bright shiny things, but if we turn and walk a few steps the other way, what we see -- in this specific case, Brooklyn and Queens, but it applies more generally -- is much more relevant and interesting. The shiny is too often hollow. The duller surfaces often prove much more substantial underneath.

  48. fraser3:46 PM

    Having just moved from a small Florida town to Durham two years ago I have some sympathy. Moving and readjusting is always a shock, particularly when the scale changes so much. And I missed my social circle like hell. Yet somehow I don't feel sympathetic. I could have written a piece about what was wrong with the rental we used to have, but I can't imagine using that as the basis for "oh god, life is sooo hard!" Because actually it wasn't.

  49. casino implosion4:02 PM

    Sullivan is a bearded twerp. May he walk into an uncovered manhole.

  50. casino implosion4:04 PM

    The only thing more annoying than this, is his inevitable "old NYC hand" bragging, due in about 3-6 months.

  51. KatWillow4:08 PM

    My brother works for Comcast, and flies into a rage if anyone in the famiy dares say a discouraging word about it. Hell, he gets mad if I criticize -er- one of the other companies, the one with a satellite dish.

  52. KatWillow4:18 PM

    That reminds me of my only "bad" NY experience. Eating in a nice restaurant I overheard the women at the table next to mine bitching and moaning and sneering about their maids. One woman's lazy maid didn't iron clothes because of a bad back... how dare she! The other's maid had a cold and might have given it to her "mistress". It was depressing to listen to. Then they left, and stiffed the waiter his tip.

  53. Originally posted at Just Another Blog (From LA), reposted here per MB's suggestion:

    Andrew Sullivan depends on Google maps to navigate a city of numbered streets and avenues laid out on a regular grid, with more large, readily-visible and famous landmarks than any other city in the country, a place whose twisty old enclaves can be escaped within minutes simply by locating Broadway, full of people who'd be happy to tell him where to go and what to do to himself when he gets there.


  54. No. The Higsons come from Norwich.

  55. Dear Andrew,

    I heard you're having a hard time adjusting to New York City on account of how the couch store delivered the wrong couch and the TV store delivered the wrong TV and you can't get a signal for something called a "mifi". Personally, I'm too poor to buy couches or TVs or know what a "mifi" is, but I still sympathize - I imagine it would be pretty horrible to have the wrong couch. In the spirit of Christian charity, I'd just like to observe that there are other places to live in the U.S., many of them nicer than New York City. Maybe you could try moving to one of them?



  56. MBouffant6:20 PM

    Again I am the victim of fiat money!

  57. MBouffant6:45 PM

    Tina B's Daily Beast is accepting suggestions for their own Andrew's adjustment.
    Won't you help?

  58. quickly7:08 PM


  59. Jay B.7:11 PM

    "Adjustment to NYC is a process. A really long, exasperating, draining process. Do you just have to harden yourself to live as if this is normal? Or will it get better? Please tell me it gets better."

    No, if anything it gets harder once the magic wears off. And the chick in the Crying Game was a dude. I want to ruin every one of this fucker's endings.

  60. Andrew Sullivan -- a gay Catholic Tory who thinks his church's position on gay marriage is horrible, but it's position on abortion is just right.

    Think this guy has issues?

  61. XeckyGilchrist8:00 PM


  62. I think NYC history should be divided up by phone company names, like dynasty names. From 1980-2000 we had New York Telephone, then NYNEX, then Bell Atlantic, then Verizon. It's been Verizon ever since-- i.e., The End of History. Wikipedia reminds me that NYNEX was actually fined $4 million in 1996 for having poor customer service. Has such a thing ever happened before or since? It seems so un-American now.

  63. Anyone got Sully's new address? I want to send him a fish wrapped in the morning Metro or the Village Voice.

  64. DocAmazing10:57 PM

    Spolier alert: Jay B. is an alert spoiler.

  65. As a lifelong Californian, I go to Manhattan regularly for cultural things like opera, ballet and so on. It takes me a couple days to adjust to the pace, and a couple days after I come home not to walk twice as fast as my friends. I could never live in Manhattan because I wouldn't last a winter there, but damn is it nice to go for a week and just soak it all in.

  66. Surly duff11:47 AM

    That is quite the extensive list of priviledged, white-people problems. I don't think it is ever going to get better.

  67. Leeds man7:43 PM

    And the chick in the Crying Game was a dude.

    Yeah, the Adam's Apple was just confusing to the Undecided.

  68. Origami_Isopod8:58 PM

    Trans women aren't "dudes."

  69. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard11:13 PM

    One of the great transition periods has to be The Bronx' change from 212 to 718.

  70. EliRabett11:22 AM

    Nah, Verizon will last only as long as they don't get a new CEO who wants to rebrand

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