It’s a war as old as the mid-twentieth century. The belief that New York is superior to Los Angeles has been propagated for decades, ever since the film industry abandoned Brooklyn for L.A. (as if losing The Dodgers wasn’t bad enough). The schism between the two worlds has only been solidified by their weather and commuting differences.
Woody Allen, the go-to hater of L.A., as cemented by most of the dialogue in Annie Hall, has always been the representative mascot of New York City with regard to how New Yorkers are supposed to act toward the west coast. Now, it seems, Chloe Sevigny has stepped up to fulfill his role–he is well into his eighties, after all.
Unlike Taylor Swift, the current “Tourism Ambassador” of New York–a telling sign of what NYC has allowed itself to become–Sevigny doesn’t play the cutesy “oh isn’t New York such a wonderful, magical place?” card. Instead, she owns the misery, filming her, for all intents and purposes, PSA with i-D Magazine as any bona fide New Yorker would: with disinterest and irritation.
Her primary advice for being a true NYC denizen? “despise Los Angeles… It’s so isolating.” And yes, while this may be the case with the sprawling land that Alexander Woollcott once called “Seven suburbs in search of a city,” it is extreme and unrealistic in its viewpoint. Los Angeles is not the evil mass that it is made out to be. Yes, it’s “an industry town,” but so what? That’s part of its allure. New York is the same way, it just refuses to pick one industry, instead making things even more difficult by offering all the arts.
In spite of Sevigny’s bias against L.A., and unwillingness to understand its charms (she’s always been an east coaster), she does offer one major pearl of wisdom regarding optimal enjoyment of New York: “Leave the city on occasion. Because there’s nothing better than coming back home to New York.”