Life-long New Yorker posts ‘sad’ Twitter ode on post-pandemic Big Apple being ‘shadow of its former self’

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A Twitter user who says she’s lived in New York City all her life posted a lengthy thread on Saturday decrying what the city has become in the age of the COVID pandemic while chastising herself and fellow residents for allowing it to happen.

“As a born and raised New Yorker, I’ve never even considered living anywhere else. Raising my kids here was the best gift and privilege I could give them. But last night, as I tucked my son into bed just after the ball dropped, I was overwhelmed by sadness and guilt,” user Elisabeth wrote to begin the thread.

“Sadness for the years of childhood my son has lost & for my 2 year old who’s never known normal. Sadness for what’s become of the greatest city in the world. Sadness for my fellow New Yorkers, who used to smell bulls**t from a mile away & who’d do anything to defend our city,” she continued, before turning her criticism inward.

“Guilt for allowing my city to become a toxic environment for children. For not fighting pointless, harmful, unscientific policies. For knowing we are the extreme, the fanatics, the exception, not the norm, but not moving almost anywhere else to give my kids a better life,” Stineberg continued.

“New York has always been a kind of bubble, a city like no other, and New Yorkers a unique breed – savvy, fierce, ‘real,’ wise to the ways of the world, always one step ahead. Thinking we were just a little bit cooler and maybe even a little bit smarter than everyone else,” she added. “Maybe that’s why we now refuse to look beyond our bubble, stubbornly insisting our way is the right way – the only way. Cause we’re New Yorkers and we know what’s best. But there is nothing sophisticated or clever or smart – nothing New York – about our policies.”

She went on to accuse New Yorkers of being lost and no longer able to “adapt, analyze,” and “adjust,” saying that she believes residents are lodged “in a superficial loop of science-free safety and theater” as well as virtue signaling” while remaining “oblivious” to the world around them. In addition, she wrote that New Yorkers now appear to lack “all of the creative, forward-thinking nuance” and “realness” that once set them and the city itself apart from major metro regions.

Stineberg also appeared to slam pandemic-related orders and mandates.

“We aimlessly stroll from mandate to mandate, accepting each and every decree without so much as a hint of the healthy skepticism that was once a sign of a thoughtful, well-informed public, & once a part of what it meant to be a true, gritty, don’t-mess-with-me New Yorker,” she wrote.

Earlier in the pandemic, she noted that New Yorkers cheered and stood by those who were on the front lines taking care of residents even as the virus spread. “Now,” however, “we celebrate & welcome division, seeking more ways to pull us apart than bring us together,” Stineberg noted.

“We once claimed to be a tolerant, progressive, ‘enlightened’ city. But now we turn a blind eye to the devastating impact of our policies on some of our most vulnerable communities, including our children,” she said, going on to suggest as she concluded her thread that it may be time for her to relocate.

“New York was my home. But it’s now unrecognizable, a shadow of its former self. This is not the kind of place I want to raise my kids, or the kind of place I want to live. In the words of David Byrne, my city is now ‘just a house, not a home.’ Maybe it’s time to find a new one,” she added.

In August 2020, after months of ever-increasing lockdowns and business closures, another lifelong New Yorker, James Altrucher, who owned a comedy club, predicted that the city would never return to its former self after he fled in June of that year for Florida amid widespread rioting and looting.

On that note, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles noted last summer that more than 33,500 New Yorkers had moved to Florida in the previous 10 months, so Stineberg is not alone in her considerations of moving.

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Jon Dougherty

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