I never considered myself a patriot. I am, however, a patriot for New York City.
America is not always my jam, but I was born in New York, and if the barbarians should mass on the other side of the Hudson River, I could see myself dying on the barricades to keep them locked outside.
When Nikola conceived of Fucking New York, the city we love did not seem to need defending. Its enemies were internal – the inexorable gentrification, the ass-stink of the subways, the rent that ate us all. New York fucked us, but she was a brass-knuckled Bitch Goddess. Try as a girl might, the city herself remained unfucked.
That was before November 9th.
As a tangerine donkey prances about the oval office, cities like New York desperately need defending. Not just its physicality (crushed glass sparkle of Times Square, the dagger skyscrapers, the smoke of halal chicken carts, or the warehouse you stagger out of, throat raw from cigarettes and talk of the new world). I’m talking New York values here: sex, ambition, solidarity, beauty, cosmopolitanism, art, toughness bred from — and in defiance of — the meat grinder we call home. All those things worth fighting for.
You’d be wrong to see Fucking New York in the spirit of a Weimar portrait show. It’s a vision of utopia, in the city that loves itself best. It’s also a weapon. With humanity, eroticism, and savage vulnerability, Fucking New York says fuck you to the idiot fascism that threatens to storm the gates of our city.
See you on the barricades.
Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer living in New York. Molly is a contributing editor for VICE and has written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, CNN and Newsweek. Published books include Drawing Blood, Discordia, Devil in the Details and Week in Hell.
New York broke my heart, but this book gave it back to me.
I spent almost fifty years in New York before leaving. I had to go, because I couldn’t stand what my filthy, crappy, fertile and perfect city had become. A string of bank branches and fake bistros. A playground for people who had seen Girls once and wanted to live in Brooklyn (even though they were looking at Manhattan half the time). A generally clean and polite citizenry. The fuck. New York was done with me, so I left.
But Tamindzic and his subjects prove that the bones of New York are still there, underneath the money and the cordons of cops. New York, to be fair, has always been the staging ground for a war between the monied and the mad, and to pretend otherwise is naiveté. I was only pushed out by half of New York – Fucking New York is about the other half: the freaks, the resistors, the resistance, the disobedient cells that make the city so illogically alive, so stupidly deathless.
Death is circling the city as we speak. Fucking New York will outlast that.
Sasha Frere-Jones is a writer and musician living in New York. Sasha was a staff writer at The New Yorker from 2004 to 2015, and has written for The Wire, The Village Voice, Slate, Spin and The New York Times.