Taylor Swift’s ‘Welcome To New York’ Is An Ode To Murray Hill White Girls Who Brunch And Live On Daddy’s Amex

New York has been my home for quite sometime now and I think it’s a wonderful, exciting place to live. I have my deli. I have my laundromat. I have my go-to coffee place, where they know how I take my coffee without telling them. I have my bars where I’m on a first name basis with the bartenders. I have neighbors who greet me with a “hello” and a smile and ones who see me wearing a hat with my college on it and have their hearts swell with hate because I’m “the enemy.” The enemy being the gentrification that has made NYC so damn desirable for 20-somethings like myself to live in. Barely a day goes by in New York where I’m not reminded by people who have lived here longer that I’m not “from” here, which makes proving your New Yorkness a delightful pissing contest. I don’t know how long you have to live here before you’re no longer looked at as a transplant. Probably forever. The great thing about living here is that no one really gives a fuck about such trivialities.

Taylor Swift lives in New York (Tribeca, specifically, as our writer Brandon Cohen once found out), even though she owns real estate in a number of other places. Today Tay dropped a song called “Welcome To New York” off her new album 1989 about her move to the Big Apple. It’s the lame bubblegum pop we’d expect from Swift, with songwriting that sounds like something an NYU freshman would write stoned in Washington Square Park on a Sunday afternoon: “Walking through a crowd, the village is a glow. Kaleidoscope of loud, happy thunder coats. Everybody here wanting somethin’ more, searchin’ for a sound we hadn’t heard before.”

The rest of the song is “Welcome to New York” tediously repeated over some 808s, over and over and over again.

It’s not exactly inspiring. In fact, it’s a vapid, generic postcard from the privileged downtown life of a millionaire transplant celebrity. It’s far from Alice Key’s “Empire State of Mind,” a stunning love letter to the city or LCD Soundsystem’s poignant “New York: I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.” As an idea, Taylor Swift’s soulless New York doesn’t sound like home; it sounds like a bland life rest stop where you drunkenly try to find yourself in your 20s by dating a bunch of people, just like you saw in all those sit-coms about 20-somethings living in New York . Maybe that’s why Tay is an inspiration to the basic Murray Hill girls who live to spend their Saturdays brunching and pay their rent with Daddy’s Amex.

It sounds like the Tay’s income has a couple more zeros behind it then mine does, so I’m sure her life in New York is quite different from mine; I can’t imagine she complains about the cost of the Time Warner bill or sees how absurd it is to pay $2700 a month for 600 square feet (a steal!). I can’t imagine her hitting up the Korean grocer on the corner to buy a carton of milk she forgot at the store or wondering if the landlord is ever going to fix that leak in the ceiling. I just picture her life being breakfast at Balthazar followed by a Soulcycle sesh followed by lunch at Sarabeth’s followed by shopping at Anthropologie followed by cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery before an appletini happy hour “wit my girlz!” at The Jane Hotel. I’m not sure she’s ever even been to Brooklyn, which almost unimaginable for any transplant in 2014.

My point: I’m not exactly sure what Taylor Swift loves about New York besides “OMG, THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE HERE!” What does she do all day? How is she tied into the local community? Does she casually talk to friendly strangers who aren’t her fans? Does she have strong opinions about subway construction that she talks to with her wash ‘n fold ladies? Does she have a fruit stand guy who she buys her bananas from or is she one of those obnoxious people who only goes Whole Foods or uses Fresh Direct? She’s not exactly tied into the local music scene and poppin’ up at clubs Brooklyn or the Lower East Side to get her jam on. Nothing about her screams “I LOVE NEW YORK!” besides it being the zip code where she lives.

At the end of the day, I just wish that if Taylor Swift was going to write an ode to New York, she’d put more into it. Her song is the equivalent of a double-decker bus tour of New York and then bragging about it smugly to your friends like you’ve lived there all your life. After all, one of the greatest things about calling NYC home is that the more you put into it, the more it figures out how to love you back.

You can listen for yourself. Swift’s “Welcome To New York” will be released on iTunes at midnight. However, there are already copies out there on Tumblr, so get to Googling.

Meanwhile, I’ve created a little guide to Taylor Swift’s New York:

Taylor Swift pic via Shutterstock

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: brandon@brobible.com