Samantha Irby’s American Dream

Writer, comedian, and Chicago native Samantha Irby came to New York last week to read from her debut book of essays, Meaty. On her much-loved blog Bitches Gotta Eat, Irby shares “what I learned about New York during my first ever trip there last Tuesday.

my version of the american dream is impossible there. here is what i want for my real adult life, which will probably start five minutes before i drop dead at age 42: 1 a moderately-sized apartment with hardwood floors, high speed internet, and central air conditioning with large windows in a nice part of town that i can afford to live in with one cat and the box of sark books i keep moving from place to place; 2 a reasonably priced, mid-size sedan with decent gas mileage and a safe, well-lit place to park it every night; 3 several pairs of custom-fit orthotic inserts; 4 a kitchen aid stand mixer and a really good slow cooker; 5 ALL OF THE TELEVISION CHANNELS. to afford anything even resembling this in new york i would have to be a hedge fund manager or carmelo anthony. and it’s too late to start over. my only career prospect at this grizzled old age is hard won middle management, achieved only after clawing my way up from janitorial. and i already have that in chicago. now all i need is a chevy.

Sounds pretty good to me! Also this is unrelated to money but so true:

new yorkers are terrified of chicago cold. “BUT IT’S SO COLD THERE” is the counter-argument i received to every single observation i made about new york city. no matter compliment, question, or criticism, every word out of my mouth was met with but chicago is so fucking cold. what, you dudes don’t have motherfucking winter? buy a warm jacket and be easy, my dude.

P.S.: If I have never shat in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, am I still a New Yorker? (I swear this is related to her blog post and not just the most amazing non sequitur ever.)

Photo: aldenjewell


7 Comments / Post A Comment

flickafly (#4,808)

ahhh! I love her :) Thanks for sharing this – she’s a hilarious amazing writer.

And also this is why I love living in Chicago vs. New York. There’s just something a little less complicated about it all.

I have lived in both. ACCURATE. Although most people also now equate Chicago with murders along with the cold. My grandmother was terrified when I said I was moving to Chicago, whereas she was merely curious about Brooklyn.

Nibbler (#5,331)

Spot on observation about the trash. But this sentiment: “WHAT THE F IS A BOROUGH” may be the root of this one: “HOW DO YOU EAT, NYC FRIENDS? how the fuck do you have shoes?!”

Get thee to an Outer Borough, Samantha Irby.

ceereelyo (#3,552)

OMG – the bed bath and beyond thing is spot on, I will have to keep that in mind when I’m in the city, but I’m never anywhere near one (though we drove past one on the west side hwy yesterday and me and my friend were like – How do they bring their stuff home?! bridge and tunnel right here), BUT in Providence, there used to be a BB&B at the Providence Place Mall (is it still there) and when I was going to school at nearby JWU, we had our own bathrooms in our rooms, awesome, but meant you needed to buy tons of TP since there were three girls sharing a room. So BB&B was always good if you needed to save money takin’ a little poop or also they would leave PILES of toliet paper in their stalls, like they were asking you, please take us! we know that’s why you went in here!

thejacqueline (#799)

How is the bowery terrifying. what. it’s not 1985 anymore.

Eric18 (#4,486)

This reminds me of people in DC who absolutely lose their shit over the slightest bit of ice/snow. This is usually accompanied by them turning into even worse drivers/cyclists. I can’t help but laugh when the government has to debate shutting down on 30 degree days with some ice/snow showers forecast.

therealjaygatsby (#4,053)

@Eric18 We freak out in hopes of influencing said government decision to shut down. Adults like snow days too.

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