A lot of people ask me for career advice, especially around this time of year. Why me? I have no idea. Perhaps schools have stopped teaching kids that nobody knows anything more than anyone else and we’re all blindfolded, stumbling around in the darkness that is this crude existence. Or, in a much less morbid and frightening way, maybe they got my name from my school’s graduate directory.
But the question I get most often, especially from students studying broadcasting is this: “Should I move to New York or L.A.?”
And then I pause, mainly because I’m too angry to speak. If I lash out at these idiots in a blind rage, I’ll end up in Rikers Island. There is no doubt in my mind that New York is not only the superior city, but also the greatest city of all time that has ever, or will ever, grace Earth.
Sure, it smells like hot, baking garbage in the summer, fresh urine in the hellishly cold winter, our new Hagrid-sized mayor has no idea how to plow snow, and we still have to pay A-Rod $28 million this year, but it’s still better than anywhere else in the world. Like Frankie said, if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. But if you can’t, stay the hell out of my city. Here are just a few of the hundreds of reasons why the Big Apple is the greatest city in the world.
Driving sucks. There, I said it. Owning a car can be more trouble than it’s worth, traffic is a bitch, and then you have to factor in gas, maintenance, tolls, insurance, and registration, which all suck. You will get pulled over by cops, and they’ll write you a ticket for speeding, parking in a “no standing zone,” or having a busted taillight. Does that sound fun to you?
Or, you can spend $2.50 and ride the New York City Subway from Coney Island, Brooklyn, to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Twenty-five miles with no effort–and that’s just one route. There are 468 stations in operation and more than 232 miles of routes that connect Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. (Not Staten Island because, well…does anyone really want to go to Staten Island? It’s hard to get to for a reason.) Can’t get to where you need to go by Subway? Fear not, the MTA’s got you covered with buses, the Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, and the New Jersey Transit. For everything else, take one of our famous yellow cabs–there are about a billion of them.
Los Angeles? You have to drive everywhere, you get caught in hours and hours of traffic no matter where you go, and like Cher said in “Clueless,” “Everywhere you go has valet!” Who’s got money for that? Not this guy. Advantage: New York.
New York City is home to two professional NBA teams, two NFL franchises (kind of), two NHL teams, a MLB team–and the New York Mets. Between them, they have a staggering 62 championships in their respective leagues.
While Los Angeles has a number of very successful teams, most notably the Lakers, who have won 16 championships, New York teams have won more than twice as many championships as their Los Angeles counterparts. The Yankees alone have won more championships than all the teams in Los Angeles combined, just don’t say that in front of your Yankee fan friends. Don’t add more fuel to the douchebag fire.
Also, Los Angeles hasn’t had a football team since L.A. Rams Quarterback Jim “Chris” Everett flipped a table on Jim Rome in 1994. Say what you will about Eli Manning’s 27-interception season, the collapse of the Giants’ once fearsome offensive line, and the ongoing circus that is the New York Jets’ roster and coaching staff–and the fact that these teams actually play in New Jersey–but screw it. At least we have football.
3. Howard Stern
Okay, technically he’s available nationwide these days, thanks to satellite radio, but this is the city that the King of All Media has called home since 1982, dominating the airwaves in the afternoons on New York’s WNBC before moving to K-Rock (CBS Radio) and becoming the highest rated, nationally syndicated radio host in the country. Howard, more than anyone else, is the King of New York.
Not only did he have the no. 1 radio show in New York, but his exploits throughout the city are legendary. He had a book signing for “Private Parts” that attracted 10,000 people, there was the “US Open Sores” tennis match between Stern and producer Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’abate that played to a sold-out crowd of 16,000 people, and in 1994, he campaigned for governor of New York. There was the passage of The Howard Stern Bill in 1995 by Governor George Pataki, his late-night comedy show that frequently beat “Saturday Night Live” in the ratings, and his “Last Day Rally” in 2005, which shut down traffic in midtown Manhattan as thousands of fans marched with Stern from his K-Rock studio to the Sirius radio offices. Most recently, he threw his 60th “Birthday Bash” at Hammerstein Ballroom, which New York by storm. It featured late night competitors David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel on the same stage, appearances from Louis C.K., Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, David Spade, Tracy Morgan, John Stamos, Bryan Cranston, and more, and there were performances from Bon Jovi, Jewel, Natalie Manes, Steven Tyler, and Dave Grohl.
He even made “America’s Got Talent” move their live show operations from Los Angeles to New York City as a condition of him joining the show as a judge. We stole your TV show, dudes. Not bad for a kid from Long Island.
I would put pizza from DiFara’s, Grimaldi’s, and L&B Spumoni Gardens up against just about any kind of food that Los Angeles has. At all. In fact, you could probably walk into any pizza place on any corner of any street in the city and it’ll most certainly be better than its L.A. counterpart. Also, bagels. We also have a restaurant dedicated solely to chicken fingers, and they’re life changing.
In L.A.’s defense, the Thai and Mexican food puts ours to shame. You can’t argue with that. Plus, surprisingly, food can be much cheaper in Los Angeles than it is in New York–you can rack up a $60 to $75 bill at a mediocre restaurant in New York City without breaking a sweat, but most L.A. restaurants are in the $30 to $50 range. Then again, that’s before valet parking. Again, $2.50 Metrocard swipe > $10 for valet, plus tip. Also, the West Coast has In-N-Out Burger, which is the closest thing to a heavenly miracle as we’ve seen on Earth.
But because New York is home to so many people of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures, the city features Chinese food, Italian food, sushi, and Mediterranean cuisine that’s better than their various countries of initial origin. Especially when it comes off of a street cart–seriously, what the fuck do they put in The Halal Guys’ white sauce? I’m craving it right now.
Okay, Los Angeles has us beat here. It’s really fucking cold in New York right now and you people are on the beach. I wouldn’t mind living where it’s always sunny and about 80 degrees. Seriously, there’s no climate to speak of in L.A. It’s just perma-warm. New York summers are gorgeous until everything smells like boiling sewage.
For a city that makes most of the TV shows and movies we watch, Los Angeles is, dare I say it, boring. Meanwhile, in New York, you can get on any random subway and get a dance or acrobatics show, a mariachi band, or even a crazy person ranting about religion or the apocalypse. Always a good time.
New York is so great that “The Tonight Show” left Los Angeles to come back here. You can’t go a block in this city without getting solicited to attend a Broadway show, some standup comedy, or a TV taping, which is plenty annoying when you’re trying to walk home from work so you can hide in your apartment with Netflix and Seamless.
There’s something for everyone in New York. You can stand in Rockefeller Center with a sign to try and get Al Roker’s attention, try desperately to get tickets for “Book of Mormon” or “Saturday Night Live” and most likely fail, see a free taping of Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, or Seth Meyers’ late night shows, camp out for the GMA summer concert series (also free), try not to get mauled at the St. Patricks Day parade, and that’s just scratching the surface. There are so many things you can do, and most of them are free. Take that, Cirque du So-lame.
So there you have it: concrete evidence why New York City is the greatest city of all time. You’d be a fool to think otherwise. Come at me, West Coast fanboys.