On the Supposedly Narcissistic Nature of New Yorkers

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These bagels actually look Midwestern to us. Photo: iStockphoto

The New Yorker's Amy Davidson takes Conor Friedersdorf to task for his recent Atlantic essay on the Tyranny of New York, which bemoans the fact that despite "the rent, the cold, the competition, the bedbugs, the absurd requirements for securing even a closet-sized pre-war apartment on an inconvenient street; the starkness of the sexual marketplace, the oppressive stench of sticky subway," New Yorkers have an "unhealthy" superiority about them. "Is this just about bagels?" she writes. AGAIN?


People used to complain that New Yorkers complained that we couldn’t find bagels wherever we went. But, at heart, that wasn’t about a sense that we were different from everybody; if it was, we wouldn’t even be looking for bagels, and would be more annoyed if you could find a good one in Akron. But we just wanted a decent bagel. Bagels are good; why shouldn’t everyone have them? And at this point, almost everyone does. The word is spread. Is that an example of our pathological influence? Is Friedersdorf calling bagels unhealthy? (Only if you have a problem with carbohydrates.)

The whole thing is very enjoyable.

Who Are You Calling a Tyrant? [Close Read/NYer]