‘Good Things Disappear And Bad Things Take Their Place’

Emily Gould has written a really wonderful thing about New York and class and debt and food and hot sauce and winter—it’s great and you should read it. (“It’s cold here and a lot of people are awful. Good things disappear and bad things take their place. Rich people have too much power and they abuse it. The worst men you can imagine are fucking beautiful, talented women. Young people’s idealism and energy is siphoned off vampirically by exploitative bosses. Basic things are too expensive here, and expensive things are often offensively mediocre. Like the dinner we were eating. Or maybe I just wasn’t that hungry.”)


34 Comments / Post A Comment

kellyography (#250)

I feel this way about New York like every other day, and I don’t even like soup (or technically live in New York anyway).

It’s funny when people get on a train, plane, or bus thinking they’re moving to 1970s Woody Allen New York, and then they get off the train/plane/bus in 2013 Bloomberg New York and are all like, “Whaaat?”

Bill Fostex (#573)

Ever since I left NYC everything’s been Easy Street because life and humanity are GREAT (elsewhere).

julebsorry (#1,572)

@Bill Fostex Where do you live, out of curiosity?

faustbanana (#2,376)

@Bill Fostex And since you signed up with Virgin Mobile™, right?

Bill Fostex (#573)

@julebsorry Portlandia, but I was kidding.

The thing I like about DC is that nobody moves here because they are in love with the city. Even the biggest city boosters are people who were forced to move here for their job/career and came to love its quirks (or, in the case of H Street NW residents, are suffering from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome or some kind of artisanal cupcake induced brain disorder or something, because I don’t even know what is up with those people. You’re like three miles from the metro, nobody wants to pay $2,300 a month to sleep in your basement!)

Chuck13 (#3,148)

@stuffisthings H Street is nice, but yeah, it is way overpriced (like most things in DC). I think they should change the name of H Street to Hype Street. And the streetcar is just going to drive up rents/home prices even higher

Hi Chuck13! This comment is fine, but your other one seemed only to exist to be mean, so I deleted it! You can email me at logan@thebillfold.com if you’d like to chat about it!

Chuck13 (#3,148)

@Logan Sachon Eh, she made silly comments about rich people and the “worst” men that were vague and ignorant at best. Those are the type of empty observations that mean nothing. Rich people are BAD!!! Huh?

And questioning the judgement of women who stay with the “worst” men is not mean.

Chuck13 (#3,148)

@Chuck13 And I don’t know how bringing up the Jimmy Kimmel incident is “mean.” It happened and it is a large reason that alot of people even know who Gould is. It’s worth watching.


WaityKatie (#1,696)

@stuffisthings But…the bad thing about DC is that everyone talks about wanting to move to NYC all the time! (there are also other bad things obviously).

@WaityKatie Let ’em! I actually like this city and I think its underdog status (despite, you know, being the seat of power for the most powerful nation on Earth and directly controlling 1/3 of the American economy) is part of its charm.

@stuffisthings lolol

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@stuffisthings Having lived in DC for 10 years, and in NYC for almost 3, my current take on DC is that it’s not that great, but also not the worst. (Worst would be Baltimore. Haha, I keeed Baltimore).

WhyHelloThere (#1,398)

I dunno. I left New York, first for Chicago and then for the Midwestern college town where I currently live. And it is true that things here are cheap and easy. For the first few months I lived here, I couldn’t get over how easy everything was. Also, nobody here is rich in the New York sense, and it’s very easy to avoid the artisanal hot-sauce, although you can get it here if you want it. But I still get the February blues, and I miss the energy of living in a big city. I sometimes feel like all my sharp edges are being dulled. I think there are probably good things and bad things about living anywhere, and unless you live in the Southern hemisphere, February is going to be one of the bad things. If you can hang on until May, you’ll probably be reminded of what the good things are.

@WhyHelloThere If my career allowed it, I’d much rather move to Chicago than New York. I have a weird fascination with that city.

aproprose (#1,832)

@WhyHelloThere Chicago is simply the greatest.

laluchita (#2,195)

@Jennifer Roehm@facebook truth.

faustbanana (#2,376)

@stuffisthings @Jennifer Roehm@facebook @laluchita Just out of curiosity, what is it that you guys love so much/are fascinated by regarding Chicago? I live here – was born and raised in the city – and I love it in my own way but it sometimes wears on me in the same way as Emily describes New York doing to her. Admittedly, it is a pretty easy city to live in, certainly easier than New York. I’ve spent all but four years of my life here. During those times I was away, I’ve missed Chicago terribly, but now that I’ve been back for a few years I want to leave again. Maybe hearing other perspectives will help me see things in a different light! Or maybe I just need to move to rural Wisconsin and live year-round on my profits from Morel season.

Bill Fostex (#573)

@Bill Fostex Yes, Morels! Aside from black truffles, the highest-value fungus here in Oregon are the Matsutake that grow on the coast. I heard a few years ago about a group of commercial mushroom hunters shooting and killing someone over a Matsutake territory dispute.

faustbanana (#2,376)

@Bill Fostex Oh damn! I’ll have to add security costs to my business plan. My business plan also accounts for loss of customers after I use the “fun-gi” joke one too many times.

@faustbanana OK, I like cities that have a bit of gritty working-class charm, but also have a lot of creative/cultural stuff going on. Chicago is big, dense, has good transit, is probably 50% cheaper than either DC or New York, more humble than either (but with a bit of a chip on its shoulder) and still large enough to have, like, good grocery stores and interesting restaurants and bars. Lots of Eastern European influence, there are a lot of BYOB restaurants, and oh did I mention Ira Glass? Plus I hate warm weather and enjoy reading about city government corruption scandals.

faustbanana (#2,376)

@stuffisthings It definitely is unique in its size/amenities vs. cost/quality of life ratio, at least for those of us lucky enough to be getting by. I too love reading about city government corruption (and hey, as a bonus in Chicago we also get state government corruption), but it’s less fun to witness firsthand. Have you read about the parking meter sell-off? Just terrible.

I guess I feel like a lot of the things that made Chicago special to me are being paved over or homogenized. It’s not a uncommon occurrence in cities these days, but it still makes me sad.

Also, it gets pretty freaking hot here! Not as swampy as DC, but definitely on par with New York. That’s to say nothing of our occasional deadly meatwaves.

readyornot (#816)

@stuffisthings @faustbanana another thing to love is the architecture! The Loop is just overrun with it, other places have nice pieces. Louis Sullivan, buncha Frank Lloyd Wright, a Mies building, the Gehry pavilion.

Another thing to hate times 1000 is the wind. I think hating warm weather in order to love Chicago is not going to cut it, you need to be able to withstand gusts that zap your bones. Or never go outside, late October to early May.

Chuck13 (#3,148)

@faustbanana I was born and raised in Chicago too. If I could, I would live there but I don’t look at it with rose-tinted glasses. The crime and poverty and the crappy schools throughout large swaths of the city are very sad.

This has resulted in Chicago being one of the most segregated (at least by race) cities in the country. It’s really pathetic how alot of people are ignorant about this and hot it is a result of the corrupt Democratic-machine politics that have existed for a long time in the city.

DickensianCat (#971)

I loved this and can definitely identify with being outraged at food prices, disappointed in myself for paying them out of sheer laziness ( “because it’s across from work” is a piss poor reason to overspend and give my business to horrible Gristedes when I can walk a few blocks to Trader Joe’s or plan better at the beginning of the work week), and going through phases where eating mindfully and cooking seem like way too much effort even though I know the unhealthy food I’m eating isn’t going to make me feel better in the long run.

This is EXACTLY what I feel, every day: “I resent having to spend money I don’t have on food I’m not excited to cook or eat.” Exactly, exactly, exactly.

All I want is for the things I buy to be worth it: whether it be fucking lunch or a pair of shoes or whatever. (I put on blinders when I think of paying my rent here in NYC.)

sea ermine (#122)

I actually started spending less on food when I moved to New York. I think it’s because I live in an neighborhood (Jackson Heights) with an absurdly large amount of grocery stores and food shops all in one place so I have the opportunity to shop around without going more than a few blocks. Plus NYC has a bunch of Trader Joes so that’s a nice way of getting fancy things for decent prices. But also, before I moved here I lived in a suburban town in Delaware (which is considered a “cheap” state) and I spent about $50 more an food a month, had less variety and worse quality food, and had to walk 2 miles to get to the grocery store.

Trilby (#191)

Well, it’s depressing. Is that what you mean by really wonderful? There’s a lot of emphasis on depression and depressing things on this website. Not everyone is depressed or wants to be. Perhaps some more cheerful articles are in order. Life is great! I walk around amazed at all the cool shit I see everywhere, at animals, and weird people, at nature, at what Man makes, all of it is wonderful and amazing. Food, entertainment, hobbies, making money, saving money, getting straight with your money. Shopping for food, cooking and eating it, cooking for a loved one. Life is so wonderful I can hardly stand it sometimes. I’m not even kidding.

@Trilby You should get that looked at.

melis (#42)

I always like to imagine that when people use the old-timey universal “Man” they’re just talking about one guy made out of like, 1000 screaming little humans walking around carving poetry into sphinxes and making Culture.

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