New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Des Moines

It is no secret that New Yorkers top the list when it comes to arrogance and xenophobia. Perhaps one of the best visual representations is View of the World from 9th Avenue - if you are unfamiliar with it, see the photo and my story here. Even within New York City itself, you will find individuals who rarely go outside their neighborhood. For Village residents, there is a cliche: I never go north of 14th Street.

In today's photo, you can see an example of this thinking in an ad by local storage giant Manhattan Mini-Storage. In a crowded marketplace, the company has been successful in creating provocative ads that actually get talked about. Here are some samples:

"Remember, if you leave the city, you'll have to live in America."

"Oh, yeah, you'll fit right in in Connecticut."

"Your closet's so shallow, it makes Paris look deep." [re: Paris Hilton]

"In my father's house, there are many rooms." - John 14:2.  Clearly, Jesus was not a New Yorker.

And from today's photo: "Nobody becomes famous in Des Moines." Slamming another city will certainly get attention, although the effect is most likely on the other city's residents than on New Yorkers, who already believe that there is no other place worth living in, certainly not Des Moines, Iowa.

I found a response to the ad and comments on a blog called Des Moines is NOT Boring with a story title: Really New York!? As one would expect, the readers of the blog were not pleased with the ad. The writer of the story states, "Apparently, closest [sic] space is at a premium in New York, yet the relation to becoming famous and Des Moines is still pretty unclear." I agree with the writer that the precise thinking behind the statement is somewhat hazy, but I surmise that the implication is that there is plenty of storage space outside New York City, but it would do one no good to live there. Des Moines was a good target since many see the Midwest as a place of pleasant, mild-mannered people but quintessentially BORING.

It is ironic that a blog and name would be predicated on a statement that Des Moines is not boring. Self-proclamations are typically indicative that the opposite is true. People who profess to be easygoing rarely are. And people who have to make preemptive defensive statements usually are what they claim to not be. When is the last time you saw a billboard stating that New York is NOT Boring or that Paris is NOT ugly?

I do respect the quality of life that must exist in small cities. I have often fantasized about moving to a place like Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco, or Portland, Maine. But once you live in New York City, it's hard to scale back. Most of us are here not just for the lure of opportunity but are also trapped by the Sirens of Convenience. It matters not whether anyone becomes famous in New York City or in Des Moines :)

Related Posts: Uptown, Goin' to Jersey


René said...

Remember, if you leave the city, you'll have to live in America.

This one is true. I should know, I live in Jersey City.

Jeff said...

Convenience is true regardless where one lives. I grew up on Long Island and know people who rarely leave the island. I lived in Hoboken, NJ and remember the circle of travel for a lot of folks being small. I hear from others that many stay where they live and become complacent or comfortable with where they are.

I currently live in a urban neighborhood in Atlanta and rarely venture outside the highway perimeter to the suburbs..

william smith said...

Moving and storage has become much more convenient over the last few years thanks to the increasing popularity and availability of modular storage solutions. The next time you're getting ready to move, check out the new modular storage options before you let yourself get stressed out about the ordeal of getting your belongings packed and ready for the movers.

Storage Sydney

Tracy Bertolet-Kaler said...

As a relatively "NEW" New Yorker (less than 5 years, although I have been visiting for more than 30), I find that I use the entire island of Manhattan as much as possible. And I have even visited the outer boroughs on more than one occasion. Although I reside on the Upper West Side, I love most every square inch of the island for one reason or another. I feel those who only remain in their immediate area are limiting their New York experience. It is the city of cities, the one to become famous in, and "make it", more than any other on the planet.

As a New Yorker who loves her city, I sacrifice space and storage for all of the unique aspects of living in here. This includes living in 825 square feet with a husband, neurotic Chocolate Lab and a food-obsessed cat. Personally, I couldn't live in Iowa if you paid me to do it.

Anonymous said...

is ashton kutcher not famous?