Jewcy Reasons

Last year, Michael Weiss, an editor at the hip online magazine, thought that our list of “Reasons to Love New York” was, to use his word, “malnourished.” So he solicited his friends to come up with their own. Their reasons ranged from simple, straightforward appreciations—“Because New York has the highest per capita rate of beautiful women on the planet”—to decidedly backhanded ones—“Because even the most obnoxious, shallow, empty-headed dickwads around here are at least pretty intelligent.” We asked him to solicit more for 2007. Here’s what he and his readers/friends came up with.

80. “Because understanding the dullness and poverty of contemporary art is made easier once you know that it gestates in Chelsea. But mostly I love New York because there are few places that can make you suspicious of high proportions of ‘cool’ people, where everybody has an informed opinion about Proust or Gravity’s Rainbow, owns records by Brian Eno or John Cage, and endorses the politics of Noam Chomsky. Once such refinement is revealed as canonical, you’re in a great spot to do the work of locating the space where something truly radical might emerge.”
Josh Strawn, lead singer of Blacklist

81. “Because of the Partisan Review crowd and how the Ansonia reminds me of Bellow’s Seize the Day. Because of the British expats in Brooklyn Heights who try to blend but still occasionally talk as if Zabar’s were located somewhere east of Suez. Because of the late senator Pat Moynihan and the fishbowl-size Bloody Marys at Sarabeth’s (oddly related in my mind). Because Morrissey just decides not to show up at the Garden one night and everyone’s cool with it. Because the subway series extends to presidential races, too. Because my older sister took the Preppy Killer’s high-school-yearbook photo and knew then he was no damned good.”
Michael Weiss, your humble compiler

82. “Because when I’m on the subway trying to read a book about zombies, and a man gets on and starts talking really loudly about how he’s found Jesus and Jesus is what’s kept him from performing fellatio on the side of the BQE, and I say to him ‘Excuse me, I’m getting toward the climax of this book, so do you think you can ‘reel it in’ a bit, like, you know, ‘take it down a notch’?’ he nods and says, ‘Why, certainly, I meant in no way to disturb your reading pleasure,’ and continues his spiel in a delicate whisper.”
Eli Valley, cartoonist

83. “Because it steals the smartest, most ambitious people from the rest of the country and throws them in a brutal rat race where sentimentality and ill-thought-out notions are doomed to die. New York is like Darwinism for the art world. After spending a while here, you go to loft parties in the Midwest and marvel at their floor space and enthusiasm but still sort of feel like they don’t have the razor claws to hack it here. After New York, the rest of America feels quaint and small.”
Molly Crabapple, artist, sometime burlesque girl

84. “Because of Sunday brunch specials, gathering with friends to cure a hangover with another drink, discussing the traumas of the night before. Because of the drawer in my house bursting with menus boasting of free delivery and never feeling the need to purchase groceries that will just go bad in the fridge anyway. Because of happy hour and 4 a.m. meals that you immediately regret eating. Because of the unexpected conversations about the most private details in your life with your neighborhood bodega guy and that lady who does your laundry. Because I threw the bastards for a loop when I left Bushwick for Williamsburg and not only do I like it better I can afford it, too.”
Tara Rice, art director

85. “Because you can watch the rats climb over the tracks in the subway while wearing your Prada platforms.”
Sarah Pickard, business-school student

86. “Because it is a beautiful microcosm of humanity. A counterpoint to the saccharine American suburb, New York is a city teeming with life, vibrancy, creativity, and resilience, juxtaposed with brokenness, poverty, and wrongs to be made right. In short, it is gritty and messy yet elegant and filled with hope.”
Andrew Yong, hedge-fund analyst

87. “Because you can find support for your passionate conviction that Charles Sanders Peirce’s early writings are highly underrated from a complete stranger at a black metal show in Queens. Because it is the only place on the planet you can D.J. six solid hours of brutally obscure experimental French analog synthesizer music from 1980 and 600 people will show up and go bananas and invite you back to do it again one week later.”
Pieter, artist

88. “Because it’s easier on my allergies than Texas.”
Noah, lawyer

89. “I don’t think I actually love New York anymore. I think I just tolerate it.”
Craig Leinoff, technology officer

90. “Because while in Las Vegas, I purchased, and faithfully wore, a T-shirt that said ‘Barry Fanilow’ (in sparkling iron-on letters) in order to embarrass my friends, and back in Manhattan, I was having breakfast at my local diner and, because I’m a bachelor on an unpredictable laundry schedule, I was wearing this ridiculous garment. I was reading and sipping coffee when an impossibly chic and sexy young woman approached me and said, ‘Where did you get your shirt? Are you a designer? I’m sooo coveting it.’”
Abe Greenwald, fiction writer, blogger

91.“Because I can blare Madonna at the office at all hours and my co-workers just look at me as though my Canadian-ness were a quaint disease, like John Updike’s psoriasis. Because the city is a 24-hour engine for passion, energy, and ambition; if you click your heels and scream ‘Take me home,’ the L train just might arrive.”
Christopher Sauvé, art director

92. “Because I’m a masochist. Even before I ever set foot in my office in the morning, I feel like I’ve been to battle and back—namely, the 4 train. But I also feel like a war hero every day: I made it through alive, maybe a little bruised and battered, but it was worth the pain.”
Orli Sharaby, online communication strategist

93. “Because you’re always in the right place at the right time. You walk to work and some nut is belting out Pagliacci while he fishes in a subway grate with twine and a magnet. You spot Angela Lindvall at Starbucks and instantly shake the most brutal hangover of your life. You discover things unknown in the annals of Zoobooks being spirited away from a truck in Chinatown.”
Stefan Beck, writer

Jewcy Reasons