Everyone thinks their city is the best city in the world. Ask any Bostonian, any New Yorker. Ask Londoners or Parisians. Home is where your shit is. Where everyone talks like you. To a certain extent, when someone disses your city, they’re saying they don’t like you. And touting your city above all others is just another way of saying, “Go team!” We’re funny little critters, we people, all in all.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about the “my city is better than your city” phenomenon lately, because everyone in Boston is alarmed that I’m even thinking of leaving. “New York! How could you?” Well, listen: I love me some Boston. But I’m just not ready to settle down, baby. It’s not you; it’s me.
Every time this comes up, I think about a conversation I had with a friend of mine. This was at a party some years back. He was tricked out in his best hipster ensemble: spiky hair (this was years ago, remember: no Beatles dos then), jeans, white belt, etc. His requisite ironic t-shirt said, “Fuck New York.”
“Hey, there,” I said. “Interesting t-shirt.”
“Yeah, fuck New York, man!”
“Yeah. It’s its own thing, that’s for sure.”
“Say, though. Have you ever been to New York?”
“Nah, man. But I hate it anyway, you know?”
“But, OK. Wait. How do you know you hate it?”
“I just hate it! You don’t have to go to a place to know you don’t like it.”
“Ah, but see, my friend. I would argue that you do.”
To be totally fair, I’ve talked to this dude since, and he’s revised his opinion somewhat. But I did think it was an interesting example of how chauvinistic we can be.