A ‘Swift’ Kick in the Pants to the New NYC Ambassador No One Wanted

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 at 9:28 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

She gives strangers in Central Park obscene amounts of money to spend at Chipotle. She pulls her entire catalog off Spotify. She doesn’t sweat when she goes to the gym. She’s a celebrity heartbreaker who now serves as the poster child to welcome the masses with open arms to New York. Everyone seems to have an opinion about Taylor Swift and her recent PR campaign, which conveniently coincided with the release of her fifth album 1989.

If Swift is now the spokesperson for the city’s tourism, then her recent single, “Welcome to New York” is undoubtedly the sugar-soaked pop anthem to back her up. The song plays out like a kid from the suburbs on a school field trip to see their first show on Broadway. Complete with lunch at McDonalds.

There’s no question New York has a remarkable way of making you fall in love with it, whether it be your first time in Times Square, or your tenth time holed up in a cozy Chinatown bar. Everyone has their reasons for wanting to be here. But “Welcome to New York” falls flat in its generic repetition, flashy, optimistic lifestyle, uninspired synthesizing, and false advertising. The song ultimately lacks depth, which is certainly a characteristic that New York prides itself on. How the Taylor Swift of 2014 is able to dish inspiration on the struggles of “making it” in New York is laughable. Had she written this eight years ago, it might have been a different story.

Her hackneyed lyrics compare the joys and pitfalls of New York to those felt in the world of dating. Even if you can get past that, the never-ending chorus bores its way into your head and doesn’t leave until you’ve been wiped of all rationality. This isn’t a song that makes you want to love New York. This is a song that makes you want to drink a Diet Coke. Both her campaign and song fails to ignite a fire for a city so diverse, a city that doesn’t stop fighting when it believes in something – and that’s just scratching the surface. It succeeds, however, in the way it uses the pop star.

Because what Taylor Swift really is, is the ambassador of the one percenters.

For a successful campaign, it’s imperative to bury the mom-and-pop shops, jack up rents in the name of selling out, build luxuries only attainable by those worthy enough (and make the rest use “poor doors“), squeeze out every drop of history until all storefronts are chains, but most importantly, turn a blind eye to it all and chalk it up to an “ever-changing”city that “you wouldn’t change anything, anything.” Swift’s Mary Sunshine demeanor and awkward girl-next-door dancing suggest you shake it off and settle into complacency. Sure, New York is getting fancier, and at the expensive of many livelihoods, but embrace it! It might be a little hard, but there are bright lights and kaleidoscopes! It’s like a rave but worse, because the vomit is on the sidewalks now, not in a warehouse.

Welcome to New York, we’re erasing character with wealth. Welcome to New York, Hell Square’s been waiting for you to dance to this beat forever more!

Recent Stories

Services Now Offered to Chinatown Seniors at Confucius Plaza

A new retirement community program is headed to Confucius Plaza on the Bowery. Earlier this week, Councilwoman Margaret Chin joined Confucius Plaza Management, Hamilton-Madison House staff, and local seniors at the 44-year-old complex to unveil the new Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) entity. The facility is aptly named The Joy Peace Center, and offers social […]

At 60% Occupancy, 196 Orchard Taps LES Gallerist for Revolving Lobby Art

The synergy between high-end condos and galleries is on full display at Ben Shaoul’s Lower East Side condoplex. It is here, in the lobby of 196 Orchard Street, that local gallerist Lesley Heller has been tapped to curate a revolving placement of art. The residency began this week. Heller – who runs her eponymous showroom […]

Sunshine Cinema Office Development Hit with Stop-Work Order over Excavation

The city halted construction on the commercial office development set to replace the former Sunshine Cinema. Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Department of Buildings deployed inspectors to the project site and subsequently issued a full stop-work order due to excavation activities. Public records show that “foundation work with excavators” caused “structural cracks” in both the […]

Claw Money Closes Delancey Street Boutique

Street artist Claw Money recently closed down her Delancey Street store. Now encased in plywood shed, the space is undergoing renovation. And joins the litter of other commercial vacancies at 101 Delancey. Indeed, the handful of divided storefronts comprising 101 Delancey went under the knife nearly a decade ago, and largely remained dormant. Except for […]

Happy Ending for the Good Luck Spa as it Reopens on Orchard Street

The good luck is back, as the Chinatown spa of same just reopened. You’ll recall that the Good Luck Spa on Orchard Street fell victim to a police sting last month, and was busted for prostitution. The proverbial happy ending treatment for customers. The business only remained closed for a minute, and was back at […]