Opinion: Alec Baldwin, you’re so right: New York City is a nasty place to live

Actor Alec Baldwin had a bad day in New York City on Tuesay
(Brad Barket / Getty Images)

Not that I knew it until today, but Alec Baldwin, the actor, and me, the ink-stained wretch, have something in common: We both hate New York City.

Baldwin was arrested there Tuesday. His crime? Riding his bike the wrong way on Fifth Avenue. And no, I don’t think that means he wasn’t riding in a stylish-enough manner (it’s a fancy street, after all); I think it means he was going, you know, in the wrong direction.

Though the real trouble apparently began when officers asked him for ID. Which he didn’t have on him. Because, well, he doesn’t need to. He’s Alec Baldwin, the actor.

Anyway, I guess that’s how he saw it. So he got a little testy. Which got him cuffed and taken downtown. And got him another ticket, for disorderly conduct.

Which didn’t improve his mood. And which prompted this tweet: “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”


Yes it is, oh Diogenes of the East Coast! Finally, someone else speaks truth to power!

It’s what I’ve been saying for years to anyone who will listen (and to many of those who don’t want to but I trap into listening anyway): New York is a hellhole. A miserable excuse for a city. A place where no one in his right mind would live. (And it’s not just because my ex-wife lives there.) The truth is, the only thing I like about New York is Woody Allen, and apparently, a lot of New Yorkers don’t like him. Go figure.

Or, put another way: New York is no Los Angeles.

Here, the sun is shining. It’s warm all the time. People are beautiful, fit, tan — or at least they aspire to be. We have real beaches. We never have to bundle up. Sure, we have a subway, but it’s mostly for show; no one really has to ride it. We have cars; we love our cars. We have freeways to drive our cars on. OK, we have traffic too. But at least we’re in our beautiful cool cars while we’re stuck in it.

And L.A. knows how to treat celebrities. Here, no one would even think of asking Alec Baldwin for ID. What nonsense! No, we would ask him for his autograph. And to take our picture with him. And for tickets to one of his shows. And if he needed a ride or anything.

So come home, Alec Baldwin. Come back to Los Angeles. Ride your bike anywhere you want; in fact, we have fancy new bike lanes in lots of places for you to ride. We even have CicLAvia, which is the only time most people actually ride their bikes on the streets (see cars, above).

We’ll send a limo to the airport to pick you up. You can stay in the John Belushi suite at the Chateau Marmont (or not); you just can’t stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel (the whole Brunei sharia law thing has got people really upset; who says we’re not sophisticated folk?).

You’ll be more than welcome.

And no, you won’t need that ID.