NY Mag has just released its "Where to Eat" issue, and it looks like red meat and home cooking are the themes for 2003. The Cult of Atkins is probably responsible for most of it, but it may also be a function of the Southern culture that seems to be quietly infiltrating New York.

Exhibit one: Danny Meyer opens a barbecue joint, seemingly oblivious to the inherent contradiction in the phrase "gourmet barbecue."
Exhibit two: Yesterday's edition of the New York Times. Supersaturation coverage of college football and a full-length article on black-eyed peas. Ah, but Raines is from Alabama, you say! So am I. Alabama is no excuse for mediocrity and "editorial imprint" is no excuse for cultural solipsism.
Exhibit three: The Hank Williams Sr. retrospective playing off-Broadway. Frightening. (In Gawkerland, three = trend.)

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All of which I find Really Fucking Disturbing. I grew up in Alabama. Notice that I don't live there anymore. That was intentional. Sure, it has it's good points. Nice weather and... nice weather. But a Friday night that involves getting smashed at Lotus and knocking over Ivanka Trump is still better than a Friday night that involves getting smashed on PBR and knocking over unsuspecting cows. Better to have a Trump-stamped lawsuit than spend your days in a state where litigiousness is rare because people "don't know that word." And the food? The much-vaunted "southern cooking?" Not that difficult to replicate. Empty your freezer and deep fry everything. (Residents of Greenwich, Chappaqua, and Rye who may be confused: have The Help empty the freezer and deep fry everything.) If you can feel your arteries hardening as you swallow, you're probably doing it right.

[The above piece is the first in the Gawker series entitled "Why Everywhere But New York Is Shit." Coming soon: "Why San Francisco Sucks."]