‘How I Learned to Live in New York’ at Union Hall

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

The Brooklyn Paper
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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,]. July 30 at 8 pm. $6 in advance, $10 day of show.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

NYPD from NY says:
I wonder if swampyankee or diehipster will go see this show and shout their usual vitriol at the performers, like they do anonymously in the commenting section. Who am I kidding, they don't have the grapes.
July 25, 2014, 9:18 am
Not Fred says:
Probably not, Fred.
July 25, 2014, 9:57 pm
Livonia Sheffield - Van Sinderen from Upper Canabrownsbush says:
Ugh...beyond sickening.
July 26, 2014, 11:28 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
"“This is not a city for middle-aged people,” said Sicha".
filthy disgusting hipster!!!!!!
I'm middle aged and own a single family unattached house. Own it outright. No mortgage. I'm doing just fine, thank you. I think this is not a city of filthy, disgusting, renting, rent raising transplants that "don't have a plan". —— You!!! My family has been here for generations and you just got here. don't tell me who this city was for. Take your stuff and go home, NYC has spit you out hipster scum.
July 27, 2014, 4:17 pm
NYPD from NY says:
⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑SO PREDICTABLE⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑⇑
July 28, 2014, 8:25 am
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
I hope he wasn't serious when he said this isn't a city for middle aged people. If so since he's in his 40s he should be packing his bags ad going back to where he came from. As far as these Gentries go, I'm glad to have 90% of them, as so does my property value. Any city, state, country etc needs an influx of new blood or else it will stagnate. The ones I don't care for are the ones that instead of embracing the unique culture of the city want to change it, like the people living near Prospect Park and petitioning to make BBQing illegal.
July 28, 2014, 10:05 am
eddie v from Dumbo says:
Sicha - what a tool... i'm 42 owned a number of properties and collect vintage cars, and bikes.
July 29, 2014, 9:13 am

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