Op-Ed: Who The Fuck Are You To Tell Me My City’s Dead

Heart Shaped Hands at Sunset, New York Skyline on Background
Heart Shaped Hands at Sunset, New York Skyline on Background

Editor’s Note: The following op-ed written by KCP Staff reporter Ariama C. Long is a response to an essay that the NY Post printed as an opinion piece by Hedge Fund manager and Manhattan-based entrepreneur James Altucher entitled, New York City is dead forever. While we admit that NYC appears to be heading for a rough patch, we applaud Long for embodying the true spirit and grit of NYC. And for those like Altucher, who choose to abandon ship when things get hard, we wish you smooth sailing and a life preserver made of lead. 

Dear Altucher,

Have you not walked the streets? Have you not seen the people here? Born here, bred here, living and breathing here.

They are scrappy, scared, hungry, and tired, but more importantly, they’re pissed. If anything the rebel cry of thousands, millions, fighting to live is what should terrify anyone that dare declare us dead.

New York isn’t just Broadway shows, boutiques, restaurants, and comedy clubs. All of that is just a beautiful by-product of this place. A place that ceaselessly churns out cultures and food and languages and arts and ideas that are so revered because the people who comprise them make it so. 

Ariama C. Long

They’ve learned to thrive in the seedy underbelly that threatens to drag all of us, East New York to Bay Ridge, Queensbridge to Laurelton, Mott Haven to Mount Vernon, from the Battery to the Heights, Staten Island, Black, White, whatever. 

New York is a dream of subverting circumstances to rise above, and yes, it is also destruction, hopelessness, homelessness, loss, and death.   

People die here. We’ve interred so many it’s incalculable. 

We have literally built our lives and city on the bones of the forgotten, padded it with trash, and paved the roads to make a way for newer things. These memories, these lives are the things we carry every day.

New York has never been kind and it won’t be in the coming months and years after a plague has ravaged the entire country. 

Yet I’ve seen more ruthless determination to be heard and counted across all walks of life than I’ve ever witnessed. 

Communities have rallied around movements. Mothers and fathers have stepped up and become teachers, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and revolutionaries all while trying to survive for younger generations. There is hate and love swirling around in the atmosphere so thickly that you can taste it, but this is not what dying is. This is shedding. This is rebirth. 

The only thing that died was convenience and complacency.

So if you’re so determined to go with it, so content to let it die, then move the hell out the way for people fighting to live. 

-Signed a Native