Only in New York City could an ad campaign about how shitty it is to live here be praised and lauded for its self-deprecating brilliance. As the old adage goes, “Laugh to keep from crying.” But are we really supposed to laugh at lines like, “The only bad thing about a walk-up is every single step.”?
Because living “happily” in New York City is contingent upon a certain amount of denial, there is something almost cruel about StreetEasy’s entire platform–which completely obliterates this ability to avoid acknowledging NYC’s terrible quality of living. Just as you shouldn’t talk about when there is no work to do at work, so, too, should you not ever address how awful the apartments in New York are for the price you pay. This tears at the very fabric of wanting to be here.
Unless, of course, this is StreetEasy’s evil master plan: make everyone aware of just how wretched it is to endure the NYC existence for the exorbitant cost it’s asking–both literally and figuratively. Their artful images of compact apartments featuring “clever” captions such as, “Sure, your window faces a brick wall, but behind that wall is New York City.” Okay. Too bad you’ll spend most of your time in front of the brick wall trying to prevent yourself from banging your head against it because you can’t afford to do anything the metropolis has to offer thanks to your rent price.
While, yes, it’s sweet of StreetEasy to try to make light of the absurdity of living in New York, all it is really doing is putting none too fine a point on how insane one has to be to agree to pay the price to be here. All five boroughs serve as a glorified loony bin.