Op/Ed by Jerry Seinfeld
When I got my first apartment in Manhattan in the hot summer of 1976, there was no pooper-scooper law, and the streets were covered in dog crap.
I signed the rental agreement, walked outside, and my car had been towed. I still thought, “This is the greatest place I’ve ever been in my life.”
Manhattan is an island off the coast of America. Are we part of the United States? Kind of. And this is one of the toughest times we’ve had in quite a while.
But one thing I know for sure: The last thing we need in the thick of so many challenges is some putz on LinkedIn wailing and whimpering, “Everyone’s gone! I want 2019 back!”
Oh, shut up. Imagine being in a real war with this guy by your side.
Listening to him go, “I used to play chess all day. I could meet people. I could start any type of business.” Wipe your tears, wipe your butt and pull it together.
He says he knows people who have left New York for Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana. I have been to all of these places many, many, many times over many decades. And with all due respect and affection, Are .. You .. Kidding .. Me?!
He says Everyone’s gone for good. How the hell do you know that? You moved to Miami. Yes, I also have a place out on Long Island. But I will never abandon New York City. Ever.
And I have been onstage at your comedy club Stand Up N.Y. quite a few times. It could use a little sprucing up, if you don’t mind my saying. I wouldn’t worry about it. You can do it from Miami.
There’s some other stupid thing in the article about “bandwidth” and how New York is over because everybody will “remote everything.” Guess what: Everyone hates to do this. Everyone. Hates.
You know why? There’s no energy.
Energy, attitude and personality cannot be “remoted” through even the best fiber optic lines. That’s the whole reason many of us moved to New York in the first place.
You ever wonder why Silicon Valley even exists? I have always wondered, why do these people all live and work in that location? They have all this insane technology; why don’t they all just spread out wherever they want to be and connect with their devices? Because it doesn’t work, that’s why.
Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together in crazy places like New York City. Feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t go to the theater for a while is not the essential element of character that made New York the brilliant diamond of activity it will one day be again.
You found a place in Florida? Fine. We know the sharp focus and restless, resilient creative spirit that Florida is all about. You think Rome is going away too? London? Tokyo? The East Village?
They’re not. They change. They mutate. They re-form. Because greatness is rare. And the true greatness that is New York City is beyond rare.
It’s unknown. Unknown anyplace outside of New York City.
You say New York will not bounce back this time.
You will not bounce back. In your enervated, pastel-filled new life in Florida. I hope you have a long, healthy run down there. I can’t think of a more fitting retribution for your fine article.
This stupid virus will give up eventually. The same way you have.
We’re going to keep going with New York City if that’s all right with you. And it will sure as hell be back.
Because of all the real, tough New Yorkers who, unlike you, loved it and understood it, stayed and rebuilt it.
See you at the club.
Jerry Seinfeld: So You Think New York Is ‘Dead’