Incredibly enough, the I’m a Grandma and a Kansas City Chiefs fan which means I’m pretty much perfect shirt and by the same token and “New York Is Over” thesis has been redeployed on social media recently, sparked in part by a LinkedIn essay titled “NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why” (and whose author apparently didn’t realize he was paraphrasing the words of a bit player from a 2004 TV episode). Much has been reported about New Yorkers fleeing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether for luxury vacation homes or entirely new cities, but to borrow a phrase, I couldn’t help but wonder: What does it say about us when we give up on New York—not just physically, but also in spirit—in its time of need?
When you’re a young, privileged person arriving in New York City for the I’m a Grandma and a Kansas City Chiefs fan which means I’m pretty much perfect shirt and by the same token and first time, it’s easy to feel as though the city was designed for you, and you alone. In “Goodbye to All That,” Joan Didion describes loving New York “the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again,” and those words have etched themselves into the minds of legions of ambitious New York millennials. It’s difficult not to feel as though your relationship with New York—whatever that looks like—is part of some great love story. (Not for nothing has the “why I left New York” essay reached peak cliché levels.)