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A Heart-On for New York

Updated: Mar 13, 2009 00:52
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I was walking through Dolores Park on one of those unbelievable 70 degree days that San Francisco was blessed with last week.  Despite it being January, it felt like May.  Gay men were sunbathing in speedos up on the hill, families from Noe Valley were comparing strollers, dogs were humping each other, and clusters of hipsters were sitting amongst their self created piles of bicycles and beer cans.  All seemed right and just in the world.



As I passed a group of roughly 20 hipsters kids, one yelled out, “FUCK NEW YORK!”.  I looked down at the $3 “I ♥ NY” shirt I was wearing and realized the comment was directed at me.  Caught off guard, I simply looked right at him, smiled and blew him a big fat kiss.  Kill ’em with kindness right?  Actually if I’d thought about it two seconds longer I would’ve yelled back something like, “YOU WOULDN’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO PUT YOUR DICK!”, but instead I kept going.  I was on a mission to find my friends and drink some beer.

After digesting the whole thing (as well as a few tall boys of Budweiser), it got me thinking, “What the fuck was that all about?”  It’s completely possible that the guy had something against New York.  Maybe he’d had an awful experience there, like getting mugged or beaten up, and he held the the city personally responsible.  Or maybe he’d been brutally sodomized with a tire-iron by a mob of madmen wearing “I ♥ NY” shirts.  The truth is I’ll never know and I don’t really care.  

What struck me about the whole thing is that, despite it having the reputation as being a tough and unforgiving city (which it certainly deserves in its own right), that incident wouldn’t have happen in New York.  And I think this underscores one of the main differences between San Francisco and New York.  New Yorkers could give a fuck what city you ♥.  You could wear a shirt that says, “I ♥ Sarajevo circa 1994” and no one is would blink an eye.  


So what am I trying to get at here?  I don’t really know.  I just sat down to update the blog and this is the story that came out.  But I guess it shows that even though I’m not working on either book I’m always comparing the two cities to each other, which is maybe exactly why I live in San Francisco.  The whole incident showed me that maybe San Francisco, and her denizens, will always have a little chip on their shoulders; they will always be a little self-conscious about the fact that, in the scheme of things, SF really is a second tier city compared to NY.  And so what then does New York think about San Francisco?  It doesn’t.  And that’s the difference.  So maybe that’s what the guy was yelling about after all, subconsciously he felt left out…but I still like the tire-iron theory better.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.