Viral video spoofs the stuff New Yorkers say
Posted: 6:00 pm Mon, January 23, 2012
NEW YORK — Hip young New Yorkers hate waiting for the subway. They wouldn’t be caught dead near tourist sites and couldn’t care less if a celebrity walked by. They’re snobby about what they read, even snobbier about what they eat, stick to their own borough, and call the most minuscule bedrooms “huge.”
And there’s something else: Some don’t take kindly to being reduced to a cultural stereotype.
That’s what Eliot and Ilana Glazer, brother-sister bloggers, comics and native New Yorkers, have discovered since their video, “Stuff New Yorkers Say” (no, the word isn’t really “Stuff”) has gone viral in the last couple days. Turns out, one of the things New Yorkers like to say is: “We don’t say THAT!”
But there’s been lots of positive feedback, too, and all the attention has stunned the Glazers, who posted the video on Wednesday night, hoping for some buzz but not expecting well over a million YouTube views (about 1.3 million as of late Friday).
“It’s really bonkers,” Eliot Glazer, 28, said in a telephone interview.
The video, inspired by a current Internet meme on what all sorts of groups of people say, is simple enough. In it, the Glazers and friends converse the way young New Yorkers would (or wouldn’t, depending on whom you ask.) There are a few distinct themes.
Impatience: “Where is the train? Where is the TRAIN?” (There have been comments posted that while people in New York think this, they don’t actually stand on the platform saying it.)
Exclusivity: “Nobody knows about this place.”
Culinary exclusivity: “All I had today was a bagel.” Or “Ah, Momofuku!” a reference to the group of restaurants headed by hip young chef David Chang.
Culinary snobbery: “Ah, Magnolia!” a reference to the cupcakes made famous by “Sex and the City” — followed by a sour face, because the cupcakes aren’t very hip.
Celebrity fatigue: “Sarah Jessica Parker! Oh, who cares.”
Disdain for tourists: “Who goes to the Statue of Liberty?” ”Who goes to the Empire State Building?” ”Move! Move!” (walking down the street behind slowpokes.) “I hate tourists!”
That last theme, Glazer explains, is not to be taken literally. “New Yorkers are actually very kind to tourists,” he says.
Another thing people are taking too literally, according to Glazer: The derisive comments about boroughs other than Manhattan, as in “I don’t go to Queens,” and “I don’t do Brooklyn.”
In fact, Glazer was born in Queens, grew up on Long Island, and now lives in Brooklyn, as does his sister — a writer and comic whose Web series, “Broad City,” is in development for the FX network.
Especially funny, Glazer says, is unwarranted speculation online that the Glazers aren’t even from New York. But he says he doesn’t read comments on YouTube: “It’s just a pool of negativity.”
“This is satire,” he says. “We intended it to be a satire of what it means to be young and semi-spoiled in New York.”
The video was shot and edited in about two weeks. “I was worried we were past the expiration date of the meme,” Glazer says. He and his sister posted it to their Facebook accounts, and “within two hours it was insane — the comments, the sharing,” he says. “It was mind-blowing how quickly it took off.”
What’s clear from the video is that its creators love the city, despite its hardships.
Love-hate relationship with New York:
“I love it here.
“I hate it here.
“I love it here.”
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