Like a pioneer frontiersman, award-winning blogger Andrew Sullivan struck out last year from the civilized climes of Washington D.C. to settle amidst the ill-mannered squalor of New York City. Unsurprisingly for a man used to the refined urban atmosphere of our nation's capital, Sullivan has found himself repeatedly disappointed—in the manners of his fellow city dwellers, in the city's response to Hurricane Sandy, in his cell-phone reception, in Best Buy, in UPS, in the delivery service that brought his couch, and, perhaps worst of all, in the water temperature at the offices of the Daily Beast. And yet his travails continue. In a searing dispatch today, Sullivan addresses the latest New York City failing to try his patience and test his faith: his new home's barbershop infrastructure.
"Yes, another of my waxing and waning complaints about NYC is the absence of decent, professional barbershops," he writes.
His first attempt at haircare, at a "Yelp-recommended" barber, is thwarted by an impossibly long wait; his second dampened when the shop proprietor, attempting to give Sullivan wi-fi access ("so I could blog while I waited"), drops his iPad; his third, "recommended by a friend," results in a "lopsided brick" of a beard.
"Maybe I'm just unlucky, but it amazes me that New Yorkers have such an attitude about good service when they are not in the city," he moans. "Where do their expectations come from? This city has the worst service I've ever experienced.
Yes, it remains impossible to use Time Warner wifi to listen to music on our sound system without it breaking up every few seconds. Yes, AT&T is still a nightmare. No, it doesn't really get much better, you just get used to living in one of the least competent, self-loving cities I've ever known. Maybe over the years, you slowly develop your known competent individuals. From pharmacists bound by Bloomberg's nannying to a super-intendent who cannot show up to fix a broken doorlock to even UPS (one of my meds was just "found" on the sidewalk outside my apartment by a neighbor), you just find it harder to live here, even as you're fleeced everywhere you move. The sidewalks almost suck the money from your pockets and give back attitude in return.
This was Andrew Sullivan's Stations of the Cross: New York's Ongoing Torture of the World's Best Blogger, a feature in which we document the ongoing torment of Dish blogger Andrew Sullivan, recently arrived in the Big Apple. Previously in the series: Andrew Sullivan Goes to Starbucks, Andrew Sullivan Goes to Dunkin Donuts
Image by Jim Cooke, photo via Getty.