Chelsea is part of what people now refer to as "the LES." Since when has the Lower East Side been acronymized?!
Evidently, one of its residents thinks the wrong people are being let into the club by the bouncer.
“Buildings are not tourist attractions: People live there, and sitting on the steps and taking pictures is as invasive, rude and inappropriate as a group of strangers sitting on the steps of your home and taking pictures of it and you . . .
“Please consider how you would feel if 3 million people a year from around the world trampled your street, your neighborhood, and your local park, and act accordingly — in the way that your morals or religion or general human consideration would dictate.”
I like to watch the program House Hunters but when I do, if the lovely couple is looking for a vacation home, I notice two things. First, they bitch about the size of the bedrooms. Well, yeah, if you're looking for that seaside condo in some Third World coastal town because you're too cheap to buy in Destin, Florida, it's just not going to be as big as you want it. And it is not as if you plan on living in year-round.
The second thing I notice is that when they are looking for some pied-à-terre in a city, they invariably step out on a patio and say, "It's a little noisy."
If my husband is sitting next to me, that is when he usually throws out a protective arm to keep me in my seat, which never works. "Yes!" I scream. "It IS noisy, you moron! Because it's in a CITY! AND A CITY IS A NOISY PLACE BECAUSE A HELLUVA LOT OF PEOPLE LIVE THERE AND PEOPLE GO THERE AND ALL THOSE PEOPLE ARE THE REASON WHY IT'S A F***IN' CITY! IF YOU WANT PEACE AND QUIET 24/7 THEN DON'T BUY IN A CITY!!!"
I am both a native New Yorker and a photographer, which is why I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with NIMBY Nina or Hipster Hans or whoever put up that notice. Buildings and neighborhoods are tourist attractions, and I am willing to bet you are just fine with those same tourists snapping their Nikon CoolPixies in Chinatown because you don't live there. Pointing a camera in your bedroom window - fine, they should not do that . . . unless you happen to have a ground floor apartment and don't put up any friggin' curtains and want to lounge around on your $1500 refurbished boat wood bench from Etsy in your birthday suit.
But you live in New York City. You know, the Big Apple? That place that affords you all the cool shit but is really, really crowded because it happens to be one of the biggest damn cities in the world? And so . . . yes. Yes, "3 million people a year from around the world" are going to come to your neighborhood as tourists. Your fantasy that you can live in a bubble of tranquility and Old World charm in the middle of a giant metropolis and never have your security perimeters breached is just that - a fantasy. And drop the supercilious attitude by asking people to act in a way "[their] morals or religion or general human consideration would dictate" - because right there you are displaying your prejudice towards those less "enlightened" than you. See, their values are "dictated," whereas yours are "open." Whassa matter? Someone walked by you and your rusted Schwinn bicycle that you bought for $800 in some thrift shop with a "Choose Life" t-shirt on?
So if you cannot fathom why there are so many tourists walking around Manhattan and their presence offends you, then I think the only reasonable thing to do is to remove the problem . . . you. Because you are actually killing what made New York great.
Yes, New York has always had a love-hate relationship with tourists. I remember the slogan, "Welcome to New York - Now Go Home." It is the same reason why the character of the Soup Nazi was so popular on "Seinfeld" - people wanted to be insulted by New Yorkers. They wanted to hear us say, "Fuhgeddaboutit!" There is a reason why the old joke goes, "How does a New York kid learn the alphabet?" - "Fuckin' A, fuckin' B, fuckin' C . . ." But we still loved them because they meant money, and would patiently explain that it was Sixth Avenue, not no fuckin' Avenue of the Americas. Capisce? These flyers smack of elitism and in a city where your Dominican janitor sits next to a Wall Street broker whose Polish grandfather butchered and sold ducks in Greenpoint in the same subway car, this attitude ain't New York.
Because a true New Yorker would be too cool to even give a shit.
And the irony? How much do you want to bet that the person who put up those flyers came from some podunk town in the Midwest?