Taylor Swift is so, so, so excited about moving to New York. She's so excited that she doesn't mind paying $4 for a cookie, or experiencing the horse smell that pervades Central Park, or having to hoard all her nice cookware her mom gave her for her first grown-up apartment from her crazy Craigslist roommate.
Taylor Swift is in that phase of moving to New York, experienced each year by tens of thousands of incoming NYU students and dewy millennials, where everything is just peachy. It's fall, so the sidewalks and subways don't reek of stewing garbage juice and the tangy sweat of eight million other people. The leaves are turning amber, and it's chilly enough at night to put aside childish sundresses and wear chunky sweaters from Urban Outfitters, or, you know, Prada. It's not yet winter, so Taylor Swift hasn't yet experienced the nine-degree days where every single person in Manhattan looks homeless because they're wearing all the clothes they ever had to keep themselves alive. In the twilight, the village is aglow, yes, and maybe it's possible to hear a kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats. There certainly seem to be people in Washington Square Park at any given time who're experiencing that particular phenomenon.
Remember that impossibly hopeful phase where New York still seemed vast and full of opportunity, like a postmodern frontier waiting to be conquered? Before that weirdo rubbed up against you on the interminably long express-train ride between Grand Central and Union Square, and before you learned from personal experience how to scour every inch of your laundry for bedbugs, and before the homeless woman outside Duane Reade called you names so filthy they'd get her permanently barred from 4chan? It was lovely. Back when every time you went for cocktails with your friends, it felt like an episode of Sex and the City, and you'd walk through Times Square feeling awed by the lights that were so bright instead of infuriated by the fact that it takes 15 minutes to cross a single city block thanks to all the bus tour touts and the German tourists in enormous coats, and the anti-Semitic Elmo impersonators.
Taylor Swift will learn, you tell yourself. She'll get over the wide-eyed ingénue phase and embrace the actual, exhilarating fun that can be had when you realize that you live on a claustrophobic, rat-infested island smaller than Dallas Fort-Worth airport, but that it's your claustrophobic, rat-infested island, and that you share it with the coolest and most creative weirdos in the world. Maybe her next album will be darker, more cynical, stronger at its core thanks to the beating the city gives her. But maybe she won't, and it won’t. Taylor Swift is not like you. She didn't move into a one-bedroom in Queens with two other girls and install flimsy plasterboard walls to partition it into living spaces that were maybe 12 square feet. She bought two Tribeca lofts for $19.9 million, giving her a generous 8,000 square feet of room in which to drop bags on apartment floors and put broken hearts in drawers (Taylor Swift being maybe the first person in the history of New York who's had space for a dresser).
So yes, maybe the city will eventually drive her crazy, and keep her guessing, and be ever-changing, but unlike you, Taylor Swift will never have to worry about Uber surge prices and which 75-cent cup of coffee doesn't taste like gasoline, and whether or not her building allows pets. New York, for Taylor Swift is all about blowing bubbles on brownstone stoops, and snuggling with kittens, and meeting Ina goddamn Garten, and having sleepovers with Lena Dunham. It's the New York dream, Taylor Swift. It's been waiting for you. Sing on.
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