We Real New Yorkers are lucky to have Taylor Swift as our city’s global brand ambassador. This seven-time Grammy winner, a cross between Gwyneth Paltrow, Gomer Pyle and Olive Oyl, will now represent us to the global travel and tourism community and entice travelers the world over to come here, buy stuff, stand on line for Grimaldi pizza and Shake Shack burgers, drink Bulleit rye in Williamsburg and, ultimately, move here.
Why not? Since the days of the Dutch West India Company, New York (formerly New Amsterdam) has always been about making money. We’re a trading post. Always have been. Always will be. And Tay Tay is hot hot hot, arguably the world’s biggest pop star (for now). The 25-year old New Yorker (yep, she lives in an eight-figure Tribeca condo) can move the merchandise.
So if she can get more suckers, er, tourists, to come here and part with their sheckels, why should you, or I, care one whit? I mean, come on, don’t we Real New Yorkers have more important things to worry our pretty little heads about. Ebola. Joblessness. ISIS. Midterm elections. Eurozone stability. Global warming. Crumbling infrastructure. God-awful professional sports teams.
Excuse me while I channel my inner Lewis Black.
Taylor Swift is the sugary, artificially colored, maraschino cherry on top of the whipped cream confection that has become our beloved New York City.
Taylor Swift has NOTHING to do with New York, or the life Real New Yorkers live. Does she take the subway? Has she ever had to work the system to get a kid a seat in the local school?Or been gentrified out of an apartment? Or lived through a blackout (or two? or three?) or a sanitation strike? Or been stopped-and-frisked? Or been stuck in an ER for 10 hours, waiting for a simple X-Ray? Has she stepped outside of Manhattan, fer crissakes?
IMHO, she is even too frothy, too lightweight for our new millennium city, which has methodically been transformed into a Disneyfied, shrink-wrapped luxury product, filled with three-quarters empty zombie condos owned by offshore interests, a Broadway laced with jukebox musicals and theaters filled with Velveeta-eating lard butts in cargo shorts and newly-purchased “New York: We’re Not In Kansas Anymore” tank tops and a Brownstone Brooklyn that has become a caricature of what it was just a few short years ago.
It is said that Taylor Swift’s new single, “Welcome to New York,” is infectious. Less so than ebola, folks. The tea bag that started with Sinatra’s version of “New York New York,” and that was dunked again with Alicia Keys’ “New York,” has been dunked to death with Swift’s weak tea of a paean to her adopted city. Question: can a person adopt a city if the city does not want to adopt that person?
Unless…maybe today’s New York City and Taylor Swift actually DESERVE each other. Have we come to the point where the craven commercialism that underlies all we do here finally has hit rock bottom? Have we really become that bland? That boring? Are we such weak tea that even a born-and-bred NY’er such as Lena Dunham (ugh, I shudder to utter the name) is passed over by NYCgo.com?
Taylor Swift, in her nycgo.com video, teaches the world how to properly pronounce Houston Street. She dutifully and earnestly explains that “bodegas are our friend.”
What pops into my head? The old Wayans Brothers skit, “mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money.” Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7AL44keDZw
Because a huckster is a huckster is a huckster, right Tay Tay? To quote George Orwell, from his classic, “Animal Farm“: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”