New York stories: Performers share tales of moving to the big city - Brooklyn Paper

New York stories: Performers share tales of moving to the big city

Slice of life: Choire Sicha eats pizza like a real New Yorker now.
Photo by Jason Speakman

They wanted to be a part of it — New York, New York!

A crew of writers, comedians, and performers will convene in Park Slope on July 30 to describe their own bumpy roads toward understanding life in New York City.

“How I Learned to Live in New York,” is part of the “How I Learned” storytelling series at Union Hall, in which performers regale audiences with stories of learning about a given theme. For one of this month’s storytellers, the advice for new and wanna-be New Yorkers is simple.

“Follow your own f—— path,” said Choire Sicha (pronounced “Corey”), a co-founder of website the Awl. “Everyone thinks they want to work at the New Yorker, but that isn’t the path for everyone.”

Sicha, who now lives on the border of Carroll Gardens and Gowanus, moved to New York from San Francisco in the early 1990s without much of a plan — which he believes was a good way to do it. New York is a city for young people, he said, and while rising rents have made it tougher to follow your dreams without swiftly going broke, it is still best to take on New York in your early 20s.

“This is not a city for middle-aged people,” said Sicha, now hovering somewhere around 43 (he claimed he has lied about his age for so long that he forgets exactly how old he is). “Living here is like marrying for money. For five years the money thing is great, but after like, 10 years, you realize you’re too old to be in a transactional relationship with this horrible, ugly person.”

Other performers speaking alongside Sicha at the event will include “Saturday Night Live” comedian Sasheer Zamata, author and humor blogger Bob Powers, and James Bewley, the creator of the popular “Dale Radio” podcast.

The “How I Learned” series has been running since 2009, and has gained popularity as an informal forum for performers to share funny and often poignant stories, according to its creator.

“The show developed a this vibe where it was sort of like a soiree that felt casual but festive,” said writer and storyteller Blaise Allysen Kearsley. “I always say it’s a storytelling-reading-comedy show, because I can’t come up with anything else, but it is generally a mix of all of those elements.”

“How I Learned to Live in New York” at Union Hall [702 Union St. between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (718) 638–4400, www.unionhallny.com]. July 30 at 8 pm. $6 in advance, $10 day of show.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz

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