Colin Quinn: The New York Story (2016) Movie Script

Young and pretty New York City girl
Twenty-five, 35,
hello, baby, New York City girl
You grew up ridin the subways,
running with people
Up in Harlem, down on Broadway
Youre no tramp, but youre no lady
Talkin that street talk
Youre the heart and soul
of New York City
And love
Love is just a passing word
Its the thought you had
In a taxi cab that got left
on the curb
-Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you, folks.
Folks, thank you. Thank you.
-All right. Stop, folks. Stop!
Stop it, folks. Folks.
Im not kidding. Ill stop the show.
-Ill stop the show.
Folks, Im not playing games.
Ill stop the show. Enough applause.
If you want exuberance--
This is a New York show. Its not--
Exuberance is the West Coast.
Thats my whole point.
Applause is killin this city.
Understand me?
The West Coast--
exuberant, enthusiastic people--
Thats what theyre supposed to be,
cause its paradise on earth.
So theyre happy and enthusiastic,
perpetually surprised
by everything that goes on.
Oh. The mountains, the beach. Ah.
Everything they do,
theyve done it a hundred times.
Its like the first time.
You wanna go to the store? Yeah!
Midwest-- Humble, hard workin.
They had to farm.
So they got that personality.
The South. Very hot. Very polite.
Overly polite because, you know,
could get a little violent
if youre not careful.
I dont know about you,
but I got a concealed carry permit myself.
New England, its like theyre always
gettin hit by mist from the water.
New York is New York.
Were what everybody says we are.
Rude, opinionated, pushy,
loud, fast-talking, sarcastic, wiseass.
But what people dont understand is,
whats rude to the rest of the country
is polite to us and vice versa.
Because, if I go to a pizza place,
and like, Gimme a slice.
-Thats polite. Because...
...youre not tryin to hold the line.
Theres a line.
Youre not tryin to slow--
If you go into a pizza place like,
Hi, how are you? You must be hot.
Thats rude. You know what Im sayin?
There's no stools.
They want you to walk and eat your food.
You have to fold your food and walk.
I remember once, when I was little kid,
we went to Maine.
On, like, a family vacation to Maine.
We go to the general store.
I wanted to kill myself in five minutes.
I was like-- You walk in, the guys like,
Oh, havent seen you around.
Sir, who cares? Gimme my--
What do you care? Give me my soda.
You... visiting?
No, I live here. Im just very shy.
Its my first day out of the house.
You new in town? No, Im the mayor.
I just got elected actually.
But, um, yeah.
New York, its always like somebodys
hurrying you somehow.
Its just a rushed kind of vibe.
But the thing is
it's a pedestrian city too.
Its a city for walkers, not cars.
Thats why youll notice
every car acts like a person,
and every person acts like a car.
Pedestrians are in charge.
They walk like they--
Youve seen it a hundred times. They
walk in the street, the cars just stop.
The drivers like, Ooh, I almost got hit
by that person. That was close.
Its just a rushed and hurried thing.
Even as a kid, in church:
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know.
Come on. Hurry up.
Yeah, the New York personality, thats us.
So where-- Why did
the New York personality form?
How did all these cultures come together
to make the New York attitude?
Well, first of all, you have to realize,
all the people that came here
came here cause they were miserable
wherever they were.
So now, you know, you got a city filled
with miserable people, to begin with.
The first people were Lenape Indians.
The first people on Manhattan.
Thats according to them.
Youre takin their word, which is...
You know, they said they were first,
but what are you gonna do?
We killed the people here before us?
Of course youre gonna say
you were the first. And, um...
But lets just assume they were
the first people here.
Already, they had an attitude
to the other tribal people
cause they had all the seafood.
This was headquarters for all the seafood.
All the waterways.
Give em five bushels of clams,
give us 40 cartons of American Spirits.
You know--
Give em some beads, but get outta here.
Canarsies are like, Dont push me.
Canarsie Indians.
And Ramapough comin in from Jersey
on the weekend for some seafood.
The Lenapes were kinda-- They smoked.
The only place to get tobacco
in the whole world was North America.
They invented smoking.
Already a New York vibe. Theyre smoking.
Standin up there.
Henry Hudson sees them standing there,
lookin at him over the cliffs.
Northern Manhattan. Lookin at him.
Smokin, shirtless. A little homoerotic.
Youre not imagining that.
Its kind of like--
Right away, its not a friendly--
When you think of the Dutch comin--
The Dutch-- pot, prostitution, Amsterdam.
This is not those Dutch.
This is, like, 1600s Dutch.
Everywhere they go, they take it.
And they show up with the navy,
so its already not--
When you showed up with the navy,
that was a statement back then.
Cause theres only four navies
in the whole world.
And the Lenape Indians dont have a navy.
Their navies are a couple
of strong swimmers, a couple of canoes.
So when Hollands like,
This is a beautiful place you got here.
Oh. Here it comes.
Its not for sale. Its not for sale.
I didnt say if it was for sale. Im just
sayin its beautiful. How about $26?
Theyre like, No. Twenty-five.
The guy doesnt understand-- No.
How about 24?
We better say yes.
Cause its gonna get lower than 24 soon.
The Dutch just took it.
They branded in those--
All those names are Dutch names.
Bronx is a Dutch word.
Harlem, Dutch word.
Bushwick, Dutch word.
Brooklyn is a Dutch word.
Stoop, Dutch word.
Yankees is a Dutch word.
The word fuck is a Dutch word.
I swear to God.
So if you see anyone
on a stoop in Brooklyn going,
Fucking Yankees, theyre speaking Dutch.
So. Now, you know...
You know, its true.
Its true as anything. Right?
Um... Its New York.
So now you got the smoking.
You got people saying fuck.
Youre starting to get a formation
of a New York personality.
The surface, you know. But still...
But you still dont have
that attitude that we all--
Everybody from New York thinks
theyre better than everybody else.
Everybody, we think were smarter.
Not just rich people.
Poor people, middle-class--
This is the only city
that has blue-collar snobs. You know.
Take somebody, two years of high school,
put em in a room with MIT professors,
after an hour, youre like,
Whatd you think of them?
Theyre not New York. They dont...
You know.
Theyre-- Theyre educated.
I give em that. You know.
Theyre smart, but they dont get it.
They got their head up their ass.
No common sense, you know.
Yeah, we just think-- We go on vacation.
Everybody else goes on vacation to say,
Can you imagine if we lived here?
We go on vacation to tell people, Can
you imagine if you lived in New York?
What do you do? Give me a slice
of the pizza. Thats not New York pizza.
The guys like, I know. Its Italy.
I dont give a shit what it is.
Its not New York pizza.
Gimme that bagel. Thats not
a New York bagel. You dont know...
You have the wrong water.
We tell people they have the wrong water.
Its not like we live in Minnesota
with beautiful lakes.
Its our water.
We act like, Oh, this is the water.
But you still dont have
the psychological-- the attitude.
The superior attitude that we all--
That came from the British, you know.
Cause the British showed up,
and the British in those days,
they showed up, it was theirs.
Nobody even fought.
Theyre just, like, You know the drill.
Its the British Empire.
They brought the real navy.
They had the Royal Navy,
the biggest navy in the world.
Peter Stuyvesant is walkin around.
Looks in the harbor one day.
With his wooden leg, you know.
He just turns to his Dutch friends
and speaks in Dutch,
Were fucked. You understand me?
I dont know.
And the British were like, You can keep
the names of the towns. Theyre quaint.
But lose the shoes.
Theyre the British Empire.
Get rid of the windmills, please.
What are you calling it, by the way?
New Amsterdam.
Cause the Dutch named it after their most
prized possession. Amsterdam is beautiful.
The British rename it
after the sixth shittiest city
in Northern England.
York was always a shithole.
Like, we should have been named
New London, right?
But there already was
a New London, Connecticut.
But if youve been to New London,
Connecticut, you realize
they should be called New York,
and we should be called New London.
So the British ran it, like I said,
all those Protestant churches
in Lower Manhattan were Brit--
And they just ruled, you know,
British style.
And they ran until-- Revolutionary War,
this was still British headquarters.
Manhattan was British headquarters
throughout the Revolutionary War.
So all the-- Nathan Hale hung to death
on 66th Street and 3rd Avenue,
where theres now a Starbucks,
of course, on the corner.
That doesnt say at all--
That ruins the glamour of their death,
you know, the martyr.
I regret I have but one life to lose
for your reduced-fat raspberry scone
and your caramel macchiato.
You know.
So the British ran it.
Finally, theyre out.
Then it became the transshipment point.
All kinds of stuff,
but smaller groups of people.
There was no main group until the Germans.
Germans came in in the early 1800s,
and they brought that German personality,
which is still a part of us.
First of all, they brought
the delicatessen, which is a German word.
And its the German personality
thats still here today,
where the customers not always right.
They yell at you. They hurry you.
They bully you. Efficiency over humanity.
Come on. What do you want?
While were young. Lets go.
What do you want? You dont know?
Get over there. Were still--
Were still the only city
that has two lines.
Ones for people that know what they want.
Ones for people who dont.
And if you get on--
If you get on the line that doesnt
know what they want, you never get back.
Its impossible.
Yeah, and that German personality
is still there. The abrupt, rude-polite.
Where people,
like, people from out of town--
They ask directions. Theyre smiling.
Youre giving them information.
Excuse me. Wheres the museum?
Excuse me. Wheres the subway?
People from New York accuse you
of information.
Like you owe them the information.
They dont say, Excuse me, just block
you. Whered you get the ice cream?
Youre like, Holy shit.
Then if you tell em, they want a review.
Over there. Is it good?
If you say its good, you have to leave,
or they might come back.
Wheres that guy
that said this was good?
Yeah, that abrupt, accusatory, Germanic,
you know.
But most of them left.
Theres still some Germans...
in Ridgewood,
compulsively washing
their stoops right now.
For the most part,
they moved to Pennsylvania, Ohio,
'cause they wanted order, symmetry.
The city had no symmetry.
All the streets are, like, on top--
It was just back-- It was--
Shantytowns on top of sh--
The water was so polluted,
people had to drink grog.
They couldnt even drink water.
Have to drink beer instead of water.
Whos gonna move there?
The Irish. Yeah. Irish people.
The Irish came
and they brought the wiseass.
When people say, Why do you talk out
of the side of your mouth?
That came from the Irish people.
Cause thats an Irish quality
from trying not to get slapped in church,
they talk out the side of their mouth.
Cause we came here,
and we were cynical to begin with.
And we're cynical we got here
cause theres no Statue of Liberty yet.
There was never that poetic moment
that the Italians and Jews had.
The Italians came. They see New York City.
Theyre already cryin, emotional.
And then they look up, and welcoming them
is a hundred-foot mother.
You know? Theyre like, Oh, Mama.
Theyre like--
The Jews were like,
Look at this. Its beautiful.
The qualitys not necessarily...
Its obviously copper. Its not bronze.
But, uh... Theyre welcoming you.
Thats the important thing.
The message theyre trying
to get across comes across.
Irish showed up.
It was the same docks they just left.
Look at this fuckin--
Streets are paved with gold?
Theyre paved with shite.
Yeah. We just did what every group did.
We brought our history
and put that onto it to make sense to us.
So we brought it.
We made it into parishes.
Cause parishes make sense to us.
And a parish is just, you know,
a church, some Irish people and a bar.
The bar and the church are very similar.
Theres a lot of stained glass in both.
A lot of kneeling going on.
There used to be a lot of smoke.
Youre waiting for the one person to tell
you, The mass has ended. Go in peace.
Or, Hey, you dont have to go home,
but you cant stay here.
And, yeah, thats what happened.
The Irish showed up, went to the church.
What should we do, Father?
You go to the bar.
Tell them I sent you, and theyll
set you up with you a job.
That was Tammany Hall,
basically, in a nutshell.
The church was the Internet,
bartender was the search engine
and whatever Web site he sent you to,
that was your job.
You didnt turn it down. They were
all Irish Catholic jobs of course.
Because theyre like,
We need a thousand carpenters.
If you turned it down: Are you too good
to do what Joseph and Jesus did?
No, okay. Ill take it.
The fire department started in 1845.
They said, We need guys
that are willing to run into flames
and drag souls out
of the torments of hell,
and then sit around, 12 of you,
and have supper together every night.
Theyre like, Ive seen that picture
my whole life. Id love to do it.
The police department
started the same time.
They said, We need you to find people,
drag em to a small, dark room,
smack em into confession...
until they absolve themselves
of punishment.
Theyre like, They did that to me
my whole life. Ill do that to people.
When people say,
Why were all the New York cops Irish?
Cause the police academy
was Catholic school.
Nobody likes to admit it,
but a good cop should have
the listening skills of a good bartender
and the unpredictable violence of a nun.
-Now... So...
The Irish...
Theres still an Irish vibe.
Like, you can tell when
you compliment somebody from New York,
the Irish influence.
You're like, Nice haircut.
They're like, Fuck you,
whats wrong with it?
You're like, "No."
I said it was nice.
I know what you meant.
So the Irish ran New York
for about 40 years.
Then 1880, the Jews show up.
And... I think its safe to say most
of the Jews have not physically recovered
from their boat trip.
Theyre still...
Somethin about that boat. Theyre still
kind of seasick if you talk to them.
Its genetically passed down
over the generations.
A little nauseous. How was the trip?
It was hot. Thats how it was.
The Jews were the only immigrant group
that wanted to be checked
for tuberculosis at Ellis Island.
Every other groups like,
Dont let em touch me
with a stethoscope. Theyll send me home.
The Jews are like, Excuse me.
You missed this whole section.
Im wondering why.
Youre supposed to be a doctor.
They love their doctor.
They came and they worked
the sweatshops when they came over.
They had to work--
All the sweatshops were all Jews.
They were the earliest union organizers.
They started all the unions.
Cause I guarantee
somebody must have said,
We need volunteers to complain
about conditions. Is there any--"
Every hand shot up. I was gonna
do it anyway. Make it official.
The Jews dont even consider it complaint.
Theyre just inquiring
why you would do it that way
when there might be an alternative.
Cause they...
They came here to not talk.
Remember, theyre like, Dont talk.
The pogroms of Europe traumatized--
But after a couple of months,
it drove them crazy.
I just wanna ask one question.
If they tell me to shut up, Ill shut up.
And they looked around, you know.
Were not gonna get civil servant jobs.
The Irish have those locked down.
What about what doesnt exist?
What about those abandoned buildings?
They saved their money
from the sweatshops.
Show up, Department of Buildings,
Irish civil servant.
Nobodys asked him a question
in 12 years. He loves his job.
Hell take a three-hour liquid lunch
whenever he feels like it.
Then, these two cultures never met.
The Jewish guys like, Excuse me.
I'm wondering about--
We want to buy the abandoned building.
Hes like,
Thats the citys. Its not for sale.
So, other people just walk away.
Irish people are like, Oh.
Just curious.
When you say that's the city, is that you?
Is there somebody I should talk to?
The Irish guys like, Pushy bastard.
Do you believe the pushy fuck?
Irish guy tries to scare him. Trust me.
You dont want to deal with the city.
Paperwork, inspectors, licenses,
Department of Sanitation,
Department of Health, permits.
He thinks hes scaring the guy.
He doesnt realize
hes turning him on right now.
The Jews arent scared of the paperwork.
Everybody else: Get the paperwork
done quick. Just sign it.
The Jews are like, Whoa, whoa.
Dont rush me on this paperwork.
Now I am a little suspicious that youre
trying to get me past this paperwork.
I want my nephew-- Hes an accountant.
Id like him to look at it, too.
Thats what the Jews did.
They came and they saw what didnt--
What about that?
What about the fish market?
You wanna be partners? "If you dont,
tell me." Ill be in. Im doin it.
What about the, uh, vaudeville?
Thats puppet shows.
Its fine for cowboys in Montana.
Were supposed
to be civilized people here. You know.
Cultural Center, Lincoln Center,
Carnegie Hall, City Center, all Jews.
Not just the people that started.
I mean, look on the chairs.
Melvin Tannenbaum.
Even out here.
The Michael and Lenore Schimmel Center.
Thats where we are right now.
You know Lenore was like,
You said we were gonna do the thea--"
Okay, okay. Ill do it.
And the audience is all Jews
every night. Right now.
The whole audience... No, wait. Wait.
Once in a while, a couple of young Asians.
Their cousins a cellist.
Otherwise, the whole audience are Jews.
They like the culture, the intelligen--
The New York Times.
Eskimos have 30 words for snow.
Jews have twice that many for stupid.
Schmuck, schmo, schlub, schmendrick.
We could be here all day
on the schs alone.
And they brought that linguistic thing
that we still speak to this day.
All of us still speak that,
uh, art of complaint.
A minor inconvenience in apocalyptic
terminology came from the Jews.
Like, How was traffic? Bad? Murder.
Hows the line in there?
A bloodbath. Ill be honest with you.
You look hungry.
Im starving to death.
Im dying of thirst right now.
Are you uncomfortable?
Im in agony. Im not uncomfortable.
So now you got this Irish
and Jewish kind of vibe goin on.
Then these Italians are comin
ten years after that.
They came like everybody else,
where theyre like,
Hey, where you goin tomorrow?
Really? What part?
Maybe youve heard of it.
Its called none of your fuckin business.
What part? Mind your business.
The Italians, they brought the volume.
Because the Irish and Jews were still,
in the house:
Get in here.
Im gonna fuckin talk to you.
The Italians, no.
Id be out playin, my friend, Anthony--
Little kids.
His father would lean out the window.
Anthony. Get in. Dinner.
Hes like, No, Dad.
No? Shut the window.
We all knew what was gonna happen
except for Anthony. Hed be playin.
You know. Every time.
His fatherd come out. You wanna play?
Lets play. Lets play for awhile.
Beat him down the block.
Just beating him. Just knocking him
into every car on the block.
All the adults are watching.
Nobody would do anything.
There was no child abuse in those days.
People would be like,
Hey, watch my antenna. You know.
Watch the mirror.
Finally, Anthonys laid out
like Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull.
His father starts cryin.
Anthony, look what you made me do!
Anthonys like, I know, Dad.
What are you doin to me?
Finally, kiss, hug, walk in. Make up.
A mini opera just played out
before your eyes.
Thats the Italians. Theyre operatic.
Its good or bad, high or low.
Theres no in-between. Theres no,
The guys passive aggressive.
No. He spit in my eye, basically.
Youre either the nicest or the worst.
Either youre the be--
I always use whatevers
in the street as the example.
Hes the most honest--
You see them ants eatin that bread?
He wouldnt take the bread from them
if he was starvin to death.
'cause it belongs to them."
Or: The biggest piece of shit.
Hed step over his mothers body
for the love of a dollar. This fuckin'--
And they always gotta have the cash out
to show you...
Theyre very-- No wallet. No credit card.
Cash. Fuck, this is what it is.
They looked at it like a Sicilian village.
Like they invented their neighborhood.
I mean, they respected the parish
to a degree, I guess.
But at some point, they try to make
the priest a frontman for their bazaar.
Hey, Father, were havin a thing
on Saturday down in the basement.
We need some foldin chairs.
But you dont gotta be around.
Leave him alone, stupid.
Hes gotta get up Sunday mornin.
He needs to get to bed early. Heres a few
dollars for the collection. Take care.
Everythings the collection plate.
Its a psychological thing
with them because, you know--
Milkman, give him a stick of butter.
Twenty bucks.
Theyre not makin money off it.
Theyre losing money.
Twenty bucks for a stick of butter.
Its some psychological thing.
They consider it, like,
Take care of the guy.
Take care. Its money, but its--
Take care. Mailman, take care of him.
But then you have to reciprocate.
So, if the mailman takes the 20,
then he has to treat you a little special.
He cant throw your mail in the puddle
like every other jerk-off on the block.
Hell ring the bell.
I took care of your letters.
Thank you. Know what I mean?
Cause if he doesnt do that,
then... enemy for life. Then, thats it.
Thirty years he can work.
Theyre like, Theres that mailman.
See how he likes deliverin letters with
broken fingers, this fuckin mailman.
Never forgive.
Thats it. For the rest of your--
Guys lived on the block 40 years.
Hear the guy across the street died.
Yeah, hes the one that stepped
on my wifes foot.
What goes around comes around.
Drunken Irish bastard that he was.
Hear the guy on the corner passed.
He suffered.
Hes the one who used to comb
his hair in the meat market. Let him rot.
Yeah, always vendetta.
They like the vendetta.
When theres nobody to fight,
they turn on the son.
The sons too big to fight now.
Hes grown up. He cant fight him.
Theyre heckling him, still trying
to embarrass him in front of the block.
Kids out washin the car.
Hes like, Look at him, washin the car.
Cant even wash his own ass yet,
this fuckin ciuccio.
You missed the right rear hubcap,
you fuckin meatball. Look at this kid.
Wash the car, fuckin jamoke over here.
Fuckin ciuccio.
Half a momo I got for a son.
Half a momo. Which, I still--
I still dont know what that is.
Half a momo-- If its half a mamaluke,
which is an idiot.
Or half a homosexual,
or some combination of a--
It doesnt even matter.
'Cause the insult--
The fraction is the insult.
Its whatever they say about you,
Im sayin youre half of that.
How do you like that?
Theyre scared of shit that doesnt scare
other people, not scared of shit that--
Come to the block beat up.
Get the bats. Were goin there now.
Everybody get the bats,
cause were going.
By the way, notice: Get the bats.
Not, Get some bats,
or, Do you have any bats around?
The bats. Theyre already pre-positioned,
under the stoop.
Ones behind the door.
Ones under the tree. On the curb.
Back of the guys trunk.
But they dont like new things.
Like when 70s yogurt started.
Hey, try this.
What is that? What is that?
No, its yogurt.
Is it all right? Get the fuck out.
Fuckin yogurts. Fuckin sick bastard.
Yeah. When they like you,
you know they like you.
They kiss you, hug you, smack you
in the face. Punch you in the stomach.
When they dont like you,
they dont touch you.
They touch themselves.
Right down the body.
He thinks-- Lets see whats goin on.
I dont say nothin to nobody.
Che palle. The balls on the fuckin--
That was always the period.
When they spit.
Oh, they came, just about 1930.
Then the Puerto Ricans came
and brought the pace.
When I was a kid, I thought
Puerto Ricans were just speaking Spanish
because they speak so quickly.
But when you get to know Puerto Ricans,
you realize they dont speak Spanish.
They only speak English...
with a Spanish accent very quickly.
Thats New Yorican.
And they understand Spanish
'cause their parents speak it.
But they dont speak a word of it, but...
The Puerto Ricans came.
In those days,
a Puerto Rican building on the corner--
Now, people would be horrified.
We used to give directions based
on ethnicity.
Make a lef-- Irish bar, the Greeks,
the Chinese laundry.
The Puerto Rican building on the corner.
Now people go,
Whoa. How do you know
its a Puerto Rican building?
There are Puerto Ricans outside.
They say--
They say, What if theyre not outside?
Dont worry. Theyre gonna be outside.
The Puerto Ricans...
They brought the kind
of communal food festival,
kind of outside, inside,
no real distinction.
Outside, inside.
The TVs in the windowsill.
Its half inside, half outside.
The old ladys leaning.
Half her bodys there.
The musics inside,
but its blasting outside.
Theyre pulling a chair down on the rope
for the uncle to sit on outside.
The ironing boards inside. It comes out.
Now its a card table. Theres a fluidity.
All together all the time. Just social.
Everybody. Multigenerational.
Little kids. Old people.
Everybody hangs out together.
I never saw one Puerto Rican.
Just everybody together.
Goin up to the--
Theyre goin up to the park
like a carnival atmosphere.
They got the radio, the grill.
They got ice and chicken on sticks.
The bandanas and the flags
and the little kids dancing.
The old lady is dancin.
They got the mix of Catholicism
and sexuality.
A lot of cleavage with a lot of crosses.
They got the little girl
in the Communion dress holdin hands
with the aunt in the halter top.
The cousins driving next to them.
Six saints on the dashboard,
decal of a naked woman,
right next to each other.
The doors half open.
Hes half inside, half outside driving.
Yeah. Its all a continuity with them,
know what I mean?
You go to their house. You think
youre there as a guest for a party.
They put you to work.
They give you assignments.
Good. Youre here early. Check the stove.
Then... go see whats wrong with Grandpa.
He wont leave the room.
We cant get him out of the room.
Then walk the most frightening dog
youve ever met in your life.
Then change the baby. Change the baby.
Always the baby.
Change the baby. The baby--
Always baby-- Shes pregnant.
Her face is gettin fat.
I think her cheeks--"
People walk by. Theyre like sonograms.
Look, thats a boy. Shes carryin high.
They heckle you if you have one kid.
Wheres her brothers? Her sisters?
I dont understand whats goin on.
The babys the star of the family.
By the time youre eight,
in the Puerto Rican family,
youre washed up. It's over.
Eighth birthday, youre like,
Hey, happy birthday.
Okay. Change the baby.
Its the circle of life.
Then the black people came back
in the 1950s.
There were black people at the time
in Harlem, believe it or not.
There used to be black people in Harlem.
I know its a shock. Listen to me.
1950s, black people came from down South.
Called the Great Migration.
Came from down South. So the black kids,
wed meet em early 60s.
And you could tell right away
they had a New York attitude.
First of all,
they would talk back to the adults.
They would talk to the adults
like they were the same age.
Store ownerd be chasing us.
Hes like, Ill tell your mother.
Were like, Oh, shit. Tell my mother?
Black girls like, Tell my mother.
I dont care. Get my mother here.
Talk back to the cops.
The cops would talk like black kids.
And the black kids would talk like cops.
Theyd reverse.
All the cops,
its, like, the late six-- 71.
Like, Oh, slick. My man, come here.
I wanna talk to you.
Thats right. Im not jivin you.
All the black kids
spoke police procedural.
Nah, thats a class-D misdemeanor.
He aint gonna get out of the car.
Thats a 522. Nah.
No, thats a Fugitive Task Force.
See his insignia?
When its cold--
Thats the lieutenant. He dont get out.
He make the sergeant go out.
Its too cold.
Yo, Sarge. Theyre making you get out.
And, um, talk back to the teachers?
We go to class.
Black girls come into class.
Eatin SweeTarts, six kinds of candy,
like theyre at the movies.
They come in with candy. Theyre talkin.
Teachers like,
Sit down, Josephine. Be quiet.
Lincoln freed the slaves.
Dont tell me to sit down.
I wasnt talkin anyway.
I was done talkin.
I was tryin to listen.
The black guys come in five minutes late.
The black guys come--
When I came in late for class,
Id adopt a posture of penance.
Like, I know Im late.
I dont wanna get called out.
Black guys come in like the Medicis comin
to check on Michelangelos progress.
Lookin around like...
No books, just a No. 2 pencil in the Afro,
like, you know...
If theres a test, break it out,
borrow a piece of paper.
Heckling each other. They cant let one
physical flaw go uncommented upon.
They walk into class heckling.
Yo, he got old lady ears. You know.
She got a varicose neck right there.
Your glasses is fogged.
Better clean off your glasses.
He live in the back of the hardware
store, come in smellin like cut keys.
Yo, your book bag is dusty.
His book bag. Get it off the floor.
He wear the same shirt every Tuesday.
Thats your Tuesday shirt, right?
Then the teacherd go,
Sit down, Antoine.
Tell him to stop wearin the same shirt,
and Ill sit down. Shit.
Then theyd put themselves
in whatever the teacher was talkin about.
Sit there, like, Shit, if I was Tesla,
Id beat Thomas Edisons ass
if he steal my idea.
Then the girl leader would shut--
It would be, Be quiet.
Dont tell me to be quiet, bitch.
In those days, theyre fightin words.
My brothers gonna wait outside
and fuck you up at 3:00.
And heres the thing.
Her brother didnt go to the school.
Theres no cell phone.
You couldnt text anybody.
Somehow, at 3:00,
her brotherd be outside waitin.
With, like, a...
The kid with muscles over a dashiki.
So he was a badass.
But that girl was, like, the leader.
Shed get em all quiet.
Shut up! Let the teacher teach.
Go ahead, teacher. Teach.
She was just over it all, like...
Unless the teacher said something
they didnt like. Theyd all hiss.
Then we became the land of the free.
Sss, land of the free.
Yeah. So thats the original--
The people I was talking about till 1965.
Black, Puerto Rican, Italian, Jewish, I--
Like, thats the original New York
personality till 1965, whatever.
And its opinionated, loud, pushy,
cynical, fast, you know--
And, of course, politically incorrect.
In those days, people spoke ethnically.
A little, you know...
Obviously, its better today.
Theres a lot less racial tension now.
-But, what Im saying...
In those days,
the first thing people said was racial.
The first question theyd ask you--
What are you?
And youd have to answer.
Theyd ask your ethnicity first.
Forget about avoiding--
Now, try to get a white person
to say black.
What race was he?
Theyre like, Oh, God. Oh, shit.
This is bad.
This is bad. This is bad, huh?
In those days people would go,
What are you?
You could only be four things
at that time.
Black, white, Puerto Rican or Chinese.
That was it.
If you tried to be something else,
people would dismiss it.
Youre like, Well, Im half Honduran
and half Filipino.
You can be Puerto Rican or Chinese.
So make a decision.
In those days, first of all, prejudice
and racist, two different things.
Racist, systemic. Prejudice, individual.
Some people would be prejudiced,
but systemically, they were fair.
The store owner would be,
Hey, wait your turn. Youre not next.
Get in the back of the line.
The colored lady was next. So...
Individually, he was prejudiced.
Systemically, he was fair.
We had the black bus driver,
hated white people.
And, like I say, New York characters,
the point of those New York characters,
is that most of them are prejudiced.
Thats part of the charm--
Nice people are very nice people.
Sincere, like I said.
Theyre supposed to be sincere. Boring.
Not the most exciting people
youre ever gonna meet.
You gotta have a little bit
of a crummy at--
We had a black bus driver,
hated white kids.
We rode public busses to school.
Sometimes youd get him. You were excited.
Everybody on the bus liked it
'cause it was a little bit of a story
instead of the usual nice driver:
Hi, come on on.
Id get on, try to make my friends laugh,
pretend I couldnt find my bus pass.
Sir, I know I have it here somewhere.
You better have it. You aint gettin
on this goddamn bus without it.
You white people run this country.
You dont run this bus,
unfortunately for you.
I know you think you do, but you dont.
Im like, Sir, its here.
You little cracker, I know
what youre doin. I recognize you.
Sir, its here. You goddamn devil.
Get in the back of the bus.
And hed be yelling, White devils!
I know what you do!
Everyones like, Whoa. Laughin.
It wasnt a commission-forming
moment back then.
But now, even nonethnic thing--
People are very touchy.
The New York characters.
The obnoxious fan at the game.
You can tell theyre influenced
by society now.
Hey, ump! Youre crazy!
No offense to anyone with mental illness
in their family, obviously.
Obviously, its a serious issue.
We need more funding for research.
Hey, ump! Why isnt there more funding
for research for mental illness?
Cranky old ladies. Turn that music down,
you little bastards.
Unless its a legitimate form of social
protest, in which case, I understand.
The construction workers-- girls walk by.
Now theyre like, Whoa. Look
at that strong, independent woman.
I know girls are like, Bullshit.
They still harass us. Okay, fine, ladies.
Yeah, because all those pe--
Its also the Internet, obviously,
took away a lot of New York characters.
Because, like, Yelp, perfect example.
Yelp was a person.
Now you read: I didnt like this place.
In those days, you wanted
to find out if the deli was good,
some guy was human Yelp.
Hed come in. Gimme a sandwich.
Whoa. Hes not makin my sandwich anymore.
This kid, hes stingy with the relish.
This little--
You make it. Like hes givin the guy
a treat. You make it from now on.
Directions, you know.
Now you got Google Maps, Waze. Five--
Its dispassionate.
Make a left. Go 500 feet.
Stop. Make a U-turn. Congratulations,
youve reached your destination.
In the old days,
you had to find directions guy.
Every couple of blocks, there was a guy,
pretty effective, be out there.
Miserable. Didnt get along with his wife.
So he was always standing outside,
waiting... for somebody.
You pull up. Hey, this guy looks
like he knows where he...
Where you tryin to get to?
He had to shame you. Part of the ritual.
Youre like, The Van Wyck.
The Van Wyck?
Howd you get here if youre tryin
to get to the Van Wyck?
You cant even answer that question.
He starts tellin other people. This
guys tryin to get to the Van Wyck.
This guys not helpful. Wheres he comin
from? What does that have to do with it?
The Van Wyck.
The whole blocks embarrassed.
Then he starts grandstanding
cause hes got you now.
The kids are in the back. You kids okay
with this guy drivin? Shut up.
And, yeah. The difference was,
like I said, negativity.
Thats what makes humorous characters.
New York was supposed
to be a negative town.
A city of misery and complaint.
Thats the whole point.
And the positive people
were the psychopaths back then.
Cause they just came out of some program.
Youd see them on the streets.
How you doin?
Im doin great. How are you?
I shouldve crossed the street.
I forgot this...
I heard your girlfriend left you.
Blessing in disguise.
Heard you lost your job.
Best thing that ever happened to me.
Oh, Jesus.
Now people try to be positive.
I see them all the time.
They come, move here.
My building-- Guys get in the elevator,
fuckin lacrosse equipment.
Whats up, man? Nothin.
So whats goin on?
Same thing thats up, coincidentally.
This guy goes to me the other day,
I swear to God, in New York City--
It was sunny.
How much are you lovin this sun?
Not as much as you are apparently,
cause... you seem to be loving it
like an Aztec priest after an eclipse.
Calm down.
Ive seen the sun, like, 2,000 times.
Im over it. Ill be honest with you.
I got it when I was young. The sun.
The only thing
that does create New Yorkers
out of all the people that move here,
thank God for the true misery creator,
right here, this makes...
You take... if you cant see it.
This... takes nice, Midwestern girls,
peppy, life coach,
motivational speaker personalities--
Nine months, youre walkin,
that hits your hips, like eight times a--
Like six times a month,
youre like, Shit.
Oh, yeah.
Im rat in a rat race. I forgot.
Cause you can take the nicest girls.
Theyre all chirpy, happy.
After nine months on that subway--
One day, youre on the subway, theyre
on the subway, you hear the announcement.
Sorry for the delay. Someone jumped
on the tracks and killed themselves.
And theyre like,
You gotta be shittin me right now.
What the hell?
Cause its ugly. That turnstile...
First of all, no one ever lets you in.
Theyre off the train.
They dont need to hurry,
and they still wont let you go in
when youre tryin to catch the train.
You have to wait for somebody whose eyes
look weak and vulnerable enough.
You have to make 'em...
Some middle-aged Canadian
tourist lady, and youre like--
Thats not nice.
Shes like, Sorry. Oh, my God.
Yeah, youre sorry.
And you go down to the train.
The train closes in your face.
I hate-- The train close--
Movin away. People just look at you.
They dont even look like, Sorry.
They just look at you like...
Or if youre on the local and the express
is there, and it just pulls away.
Instead of waiting the extra 30 seconds
till people can get off. Come on.
Unless Im on the express.
Then Im like, Lets go! Quick, before--
You hope the conductor doesnt see
the local comin for some reason.
Like, Eh, lets go.
Yeah, cause I think Im better
than people if Im on the express.
I think Im better than the people on--
I mean, literally, they walk
across the platform tryin to catch--
They look like suckers, like this.
Fuckin idiots.
Pleading eyes. Weak.
And the subway in the old days,
it was so psychotic.
There was more of a bond.
It was more of a community.
Like, no guy would ever sit
if a woman was standing.
Cause, you know.
The guy could be 103 years old,
just got out of the emergency room,
still got the hospital bracelet on.
Female Olympic athlete.
Everybodys like,
Get up. Give her your seat.
Now, guys, because of the iPad,
they can pretend they dont see.
Got the headphones, sitting there.
A womans nine months pregnant.
The fetus is kickin me in the forehead.
Hes like, I didnt feel it.
You dont feel that, you son of a bitch?
Heres the difference. The subway now--
There are poems on the subway.
The MTA puts up the darling buds of May.
The city awakens
from its slumber of winter.
In those days, the MTA put up signs
all over. Saw them a hundred times.
Remember, its chain-snatching season.
So tuck your jewelry into your clothing
and turn your rings around
so the stones dont show.
Thats the mentality.
It wasnt: Its chain-snatching season,
so if you see something,
yell for a transit cop, the conductor.
No. Its: Its chain-snatching season.
Somebodys about to get robbed.
Make it not be you. Better them than you.
Tuck your shit in so its not you.
Its gonna happen, but it might not
happen to you if you tuck shit.
The subway was so bad,
people would blame you if you got jumped.
Youd come back, cut.
I got jumped on the subway.
What happened? I was on the last car.
Last car? You deserved what you got.
Only an idiot would go on the last car.
Even the transit cops wouldnt go
on the last car.
Theyd be like, Is that the last car?
Im not going in.
The whole city had, like, this other vibe.
All the things you say now,
the associations then were--
A talk show host would be like,
I was in Central Park.
Everybody would be like, Oh-ho.
That was a joke that you got mugged.
Not at night. Like, anytime. Central Park.
If you told somebody,
I saw your mother on 42nd Street,
they would physically try to kill you.
That was the biggest insult you could say.
Your mother was on 42nd Street.
People would fight all the time over that.
Now, theyd be like, Yeah. She works--
The New York Times building is there.
They got the Graduate Center.
Shes doin something
with Playwrights Horizons. I dont know.
Times Square was freakin--
Times Square, youd get off the train.
Port Authority, walk outside.
The pimps would be lined up
like Citi Bikes.
Theyd be lined up where the Citi Bikes
are now.
All of them just standing there.
A couple of empty slots.
42nd Street was porno, drug dealers,
and then, like,
20 shirtless guys with nunchakus.
Cause there were five martial arts stores
on 42nd Street.
Guys standing there swingin nunchakus.
Everybodys just watchin.
People go to a play. Nobody went out
to dinner after the theater in New York.
Nobody stayed in Times Square.
People wouldnt even applaud.
Theyre like, Thats the end
of the show. Lets go. Come on.
Yeah, it was psychotic.
I mean, people started
to accommodate criminals.
People told you,
Bring 20 bucks with you.
Why? What if I get jumped?
Because the mugger started to know.
People arent gonna bring money?
Well kill a few people.
They started killin people
for havin no money.
So youd bring mugger money.
Thats what theyd call it.
The muggers knew about it too.
Gimme your money.
I left my wallet home.
You got your mugger money, right?
Of course I do.
I mean, Im not--
Yeah, people started writing notes
to the car thieves.
Youre writing no radio
and putting it in the car.
Im not sayin one day. Im sayin
the whole city did for 20 years.
No radio. Whos that for?
The car thief.
I corres--
Puttin correspondence with the car thief.
Could have had their own stationery.
Wouldve made a lot of money.
The car thieves would read it.
Theyd be like,
Come on, man. It says no radio.
Cant you read? Let's go
The city was a hellhole,
but it seemed more authentic.
The people were more down to earth.
Like, the difference
between Mayor de Blasio and Mayor Koch.
Two mayors of New York.
Mayor de Blasio gets up there.
And just... We need crucial, critical,
fundamental steps to remedy
and measures to address some
of the challenges
and the obstacles that we face."
Once in a while,
hell throw a little New York thing in.
As we New Yorkers say,
Forget about it.
Koch was always in a wrinkled shirt.
He just got out of...
Hed be at the Kew Gardens Senior Center.
You know.
Some old ladys yelling at him.
You promised us last year
thered be a stoplight
on Parsons Boulevard.
Well, I havent seen anything.
Hed just start yelling at you.
Lady, you oughta get your head examined.
You have a screw loose.
Theres no money. Youre not getting that.
You wanna cross Parsons Boulevard? Run.
Im running across right now
to get the hell outta here.
He had no bodyguards.
Just get on the E train by himself.
These ladies make me sick.
Ill never go back to Kew Gardens again.
Yeah. The New York personality.
The cynical, opinionated, brutal, loud...
Youd think it was gone. No.
Thats the only immigrants
that make it here,
if youll notice, are the ones
that have all those qualities.
Theyre not, Hey, tired, poor. They got
a shit attitude. Thats how you make it.
Starting with the Greeks.
They came in the 60s.
Rude-polite, thats what they do.
They were rude-po-- Turnover.
Their whole business
in their diners was turnover.
So theyre welcoming you in,
but kicking you out at the same time.
Theyre like, My friend, I love it.
I know. Eggs, bacon, home fries.
You like the French fries better.
Give him the home fries.
Give him the check.
Come on, lets get him out of here.
The fuck outta-- Come on. Kick him."
They loom over the stool.
Send him to the cashier.
They always blame the cashier.
Shes the only non-Greek in the place.
Shed have the bouffant hairdo
and the cat glasses.
You know.
You think shes just some old lady.
She was an Instagram star today back
in the 50s.
Like a real hottie.
Like a Miss Subways runner-up.
The hand job queen of Ebbets Field
or some shit.
She went to high school
with everybody from-- the real goodfellas.
Shes like, Yeah, they were cowards.
My boyfriend beat the shit outta half
of those guys.
You cant be nice and last in the city.
I witnessed it.
Haitians and Jamaicans got
to New York in the early 70s.
Right away they had to be tough.
The Haitians,
first of all, they were fearless.
They werent tough, just fearless.
Nobody could hit them harder
than their father.
Their father would come up to school
and beat them in the middle of class.
Who are you
to disrespect these teachers?
They werent scared of any kids.
Theyd just quote the New Testament.
By scribe and Pharisee,
you do not intimidate."
The Jamaicans would quote
the Old Testament.
Abraham and Jacob.
And Jamaicans-- Fun historical fact.
Jamaicans were the first black guys
it was socially acceptable
for white girls to date.
Before it was okay to date
black Americans, I heard it all the time:
Shes goin out with a black guy.
Hes Jamaican. Oh.
I dont know why. Pot. Bob Marley.
I dont know, folks. I just report it.
Then, um...
the Chinese and Koreans came.
Notice, the Japanese had to go to
Fort Lee. They couldnt stay in the city.
Cause they were polite,
tryin to be friendly.
Chinese are not on a charm offensive,
to put it mildly.
First of all, they kept
the Lenape Indians cigarette thing going.
When the rest
of the city abandoned smoking--
You go to any one
of the four Chinatowns in New York,
its like they never heard
of Mayor Bloomberg.
Yeah. There was Giuliani
and then this guy de Blasio.
There was a guy in the middle.
Dont worry about it.
Not friendly. Theyre workaholics.
Workaholics arent frie--
Koreans. They tried to make Koreans--
Remember in the 90s?
Koreans are unfriendly.
They gotta be friendly.
They tried.
They had classes to try to be friendly.
But its just not what they do. They try.
Hot enough for y--
I cant do this. I cant.
I got four hand trucks to unload.
They just wanna work the whole time.
No ones ever leaning at the Korean deli.
Nobodys ever leaning. You got
a 40-year-old guy stocking the shelves.
Twelve-year-old girls working
the register doin her homework.
The 100-year-old grandfather sittin
on a crate,
pickin snow peas at 2:00 in the mornin
by himself.
Once in a while the manager-- heres
the vacation-- after a 20-hour shift,
walks out and leans
on his own body weight for ten seconds.
Then theyre like, Breaks over.
I know.
The only friendly thing they did,
they brought flowers.
There were no flowers
at the bodegas before--
The Koreans just showed up
with flowers in the 80s.
They mustve thought that was enough.
But they dont go near them.
They make the Mexican guy guard them.
Mexicans do every job nobody else will.
Even among the immigrants, Im sayin.
Like, all the immigrants make fun
of how lazy we are as Americans.
Like, Oh, I hurt my foot.
I need a vacation. Im American.
Mexicans make fun of how lazy the other
immigrants are. Thats how much they work.
Theyre like,
I only put 18 hours in. Im Korean.
Dominicans. Dominicans came over.
First of all, Dominicans came over 1980,
81. They had the Puerto Ricans goin,
Who are these people blasting music,
staying up all night? Im tryin to sleep.
I like a party. A partys a party.
Theres a time and a place for a party.
And theyre speaking Spanish.
I understand it, but I dont speak it.
The Dominicans, they made themselves
right at home when they came here.
Because the first non-Lenape Indian--
The first immigrant resident of Manhattan
was a Dominican,
a Dominican trader named Juan Rodriguez.
Thats a true thing.
Some trader whos like,
I come to trade. You dont wanna trade.
I dont wanna argue with you,
but I came here. I bring sugar.
And you wanna hand me...
I dont want beads. I go home and then--
Theyre gonna think its gang-related.
I dont fuck around.
Some Dominican, he was the first
Manhattan resident, basically,
except for the Lenape Indians,
was a Dominican trader.
Russia-- How do you think
Russians lasted here?
Theyre more sarcastic than all of us.
You ever try to small talk a Russian?
Im at the Sheeps Head Bay train station.
Beautiful Russian girl.
Boy, this train is late.
Yes, and mindless chatter
will not accelerate.
Albanians, big part of New York.
Im not even gonna say anything
about Albanians.
And that should say everything
you need to know about Albanians.
You know.
East Indians? East Indians.
Friendly everywhere else.
New York? They had to learn how to fight.
And Im saying-- They fight.
Theyll never raise their voice.
But they always gotta get the last word.
The guys outta the store.
The troubles over.
They gotta get a shot.
It brings them back.
The guys drunk.
Hes like, Fuck you, Bin Laden.
Hes like, Okay, sir. Go and smoke crack.
I dont know where you're gonna--
The guys like,
What did you just fuckin say to me?
Nothing, sir. Please leave.
I dont want trouble. Just shut up.
All right. You are uneducated person.
I understand.
Even you go in jail,
your family happy and relieved too.
Arabs. When I was growing up,
there were a lot of Arab candy store,
grocery stores in Park Slope.
And all the Arab stores--
Even as kids, we knew,
dont rob the Arab store
unless you absolutely--
the other stores banned you or something.
All the other stores,
you run out with the candy. You shopli--
The owner runs three feet. Hes out
of breath. Im callin the cops.
Arab guy-- First, you go in the store,
there was never anybody else in there.
Its always deserted.
Hes 130 pounds, lookin at you.
And then he realizes, these kids arent
buyin anything. Theyre here to shoplift.
You see a look come over his face.
It wasnt fear. It wasnt anger.
It was, like, calm.
Just like,
I see. Now, my destiny is this.
Usually, Id chicken out right then.
Once in a while youre like,
Aw, screw that, and run.
He starts chasing you. You turn around
two blocks later, still chasin.
You drop the candy.
He doesnt stop for his own candy.
Cause now its not even about that.
Its about a principle.
You know, like a... Code of Hammurabi.
Like, his store--
Its like eye for an eye.
Tooth for a Three Musketeers bar.
You know.
But that was the beauty of New York was--
It still is.
You can go into a store,
youre in another country.
You walk in. The guys Pakistani,
got a beard down to here.
In the back, the uncle.
Everyones sittin on crates
playin a card game that was outlawed
during the Crimean War or some shit.
You know?
And, gettin a cab--
Before stupid Taxi TV--
Every time Id go in a cab,
youre in a different country.
The guys, like, on the phone to Senegal.
Theres some music playin
from Central African Republic.
Theres a little amulet from,
like, his village when he left.
Theyre like, Good luck.
Its a big deal. Its a drama-- To him--
Like, you see him, hes livin, like,
five people sleeping in shifts.
But he goes home once a year, Senegal.
Hes like LeBron
when he went back to Cleveland.
Hes the star of the village.
Theyre like, I told you he was gonna
come back. You said he wasnt, see?
The amazing thing is everybody
from every country packed
in a little city.
One-hundred-sixty languages
in Queens alone.
But youre not supposed
to mention ethnicity of course.
Thats the other problem.
You just have to vaguely look around
and golf clap.
If you see something, youre not
supposed to have a reaction to it.
Even if its another culture
and it shocks you at the beginning.
Forgive me. If Im walking
on Roosevelt Avenue,
and I see a couple of Ecuadorean guys
in cowboy boots,
carryin 50 slaughtered guinea pigs
on Sixth-- Ive seen it.
Like Apocalypse Now.
Just all these skulls of guinea pigs.
I reel back, almost knock over the guy
on his prayer mat,
doing his call to Mecca next
to the food cart.
If I go, Oh, my God, a well-intentioned
white person scurries over
to explain cultural relativity to me.
You know...
hillbillies also cure their food,
and theyre hyper-religious.
I dont know if you realize.
So you shouldnt say...
Im like, Thank you.
Where once I was blind, now I can see.
Thank you.
Until you came along, I dont know what--"
Because they want, you know, everything
to be authentic, artisanal, vinyl,
but when it comes to ethnicity,
go generic-speak at all times.
I was in Brooklyn once.
This kid got mad at me.
Hes like, You see somebody pass here?
Whatd he look like?
Whatd he look like?
He had a green shirt,
a brown tie, blue jacket.
What color was he?
I dont see color, all right?
I mean, if you dont want to see color,
go to Brooklyn. Its 100% white now.
When did that happen?
I mean...
Brooklyns so white,
they have Black Lives Matter protests,
half the protesters are white,
in Brooklyn.
Ive seen white kids yelling,
Black lives matter, at black cops.
And theyre tryin to...
Theyre tryin to say...
Theyre tryin to say,
Im tryin to protect you from yourself.
I go on the L--
When I was a kid, L train...
Wouldnt go near the L train.
You couldnt catch me on the L train.
You know... I go on the L train now,
2:00 in the morning,
it looks like a ski lift.
Kids with iPads out.
iPads, cell phones.
Like, $400, in their hands.
When I was growing up, any train,
immediately, your money in your underwear,
your bus pass in your--
Now, theyre sittin there,
$400 basically. A train full of kids.
And you know theres gotta be one guy
who was in jail since 1979.
Just got out. Hes on the L train
goin to stay at his mothers.
And he was, like,
the hardcore gangbanger.
Hes, like, the guy
that killed Mike Tysons pigeons.
Hes just half asleep and wakes up
and sees a car full of white kids
holding $400 in their hand.
He probably just starts crying.
This is all I ever wanted when I was a--
I had to go to the Upper East Side
to find white people.
In those days, there were no blond people.
The only blond people were-- Greenpoint
was all Polish. But nobody ever saw it.
You just heard about this place
called Greenpoint.
Nobody would be on the G train. That was
like, What are you doin? G train?
Its packed now.
In those days, it was deserted.
And Polish people, who also contributed
a lot-- They were big immigrants.
They contributed a lot to New York.
I didnt talk about them.
In those days,
people would make Polish jokes.
Talk about stereotype.
They used to say Polish people are stupid.
That was the big joke.
Polish people are stupid. Cruel.
And why? Theres not even a reason for it.
Why? Because they said,
We want to live in the neighborhood
thats so close you can almost
touch Manhattan,
but by train it takes two
and a half hours? I dont know.
Im sure they have their reasons.
They have their reasons, folks.
Its not for us to say why they did.
They have their thing.
Ill tell you a Polish joke right now.
It wont be the same,
but itll still be funny.
Times change. You wanna be sensitive.
Heres the Polish joke.
A Polish guy... See right away,
even that seems tone-deaf to me.
No because there's gotta be a guy
in the joke.
Like, a Polish guy...
Could be a girl. Lets say its a girl.
A Polish girl. A Polish girl. Hey. Hey.
Lets open it up for that matter.
A Polish member of the LGBTQ community.
A Polish member of the LGBTQ.
No. I tell you what. Well bring it back.
Thisll cover--
A Polish guy, but he self-identifies
as a Polish girl. All right?
Forget it. Well start...
A person of Polish extraction.
It has nothin to do
with the punch line anyway.
If I have to rely on that
for the punch line, wheres the--
A person of Polish--
And when I say Polish, obviously,
its a little reductive to the rest
of Eastern Europe to say Polish.
No, because Eastern Europe, theres a--
I dont want to marginalize the rest
of Eastern Europe.
Cause thats punching down.
And comedy never punches down.
It only punches up.
Ive read that from 50 people
that never did comedy. They all said...
What? All right. Listen. Heres the joke.
Im not telling this again,
but you can tell this on the way home.
A featureless, colorless, nonsectarian...
non-gender specific... person...
of indeterminate origin...
walks into a bar.
When youre careful
and nice and sincere, thats fine.
Its not funny. Funny.
New York was clumsy.
New Yorks, like, the city--
Its just reckless. Its impulsive.
Its accidental.
The whole city is an accident.
This whole city was an accident.
It wasnt even supposed to--
Henry Hudson,
the explorer that started this whole--
He was on his way to China.
He was tryin to find China.
I swear to God.
He got lost.
Hes comin down the river.
Heres the Lenapes lookin at him.
Whats this?
He comes over. Theyre like, Whats up?
Hes like, Im lost.
I dont know where Im goin.
Youre lost? Where you tryin to go?
He goes...
He goes, China.
Youre tryin to go to China.
To the left and to the right,
buildings towering to the sky
Its outta sight
-Thank you. Thank you.
- In the dead of night
-Good night, guys.
- Ooh
- Here I am, and in this city
-Thank you.
- With a fistful of dollars
And, baby, youd better believe
Im back, back in the New York groove
Thank you.
- Im back, back in the New York groove
-Good night. Thank you, upstairs.
-Thank you. Thank you. 'Night, guys.
- Im back, back in the New York groove
-Thank you, folks.
- Back in the New York groove
In the New York groove
In the back of my Cadillac
A wicked lady, sittin by my side,
sayin Where are we?
Stopped at Third and 43,
exit to the night