When you have great and unmatched wisdom like me, it’s not so hard to see the beginnings of things, and it is not hard to see the ends of things, either. Pretty easy, actually! Everything is easy for me because I have a great brain, and I am sorry for Joan Didion and the others leaving New York who we all know didn’t have it so easy. Not so easy for Joan! She could remember when New York began for her, but not when it ended. I remember, though. But it’s okay. We can’t all remember!

When I got to New York, it was a wonderful place, I couldn’t believe it. You could put a red line around anything you wanted. Really, I said, can we do that? They said, oh yes, you can do anything. New York City was my oyster, but better. Oysters I don’t like so much. They’re cold and nasty, don’t you think? But people say that cities are like them, or maybe even that the world is like them. New York was better, like a hard, shiny steak. I ran a full-page ad in the newspaper calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five — they call them the Exonerated Five, but I didn’t — I said, can you believe it? They let me do it! New York!

New York has so many things that would dazzle a little boy from Queens. I hear it has a subway, which is so nasty. It has the Empire State Building, a tiny, bad building without a Trump logo on it. It has Central Park, which is full of germs and people, and it has the Statue of Liberty, a big lady who doesn’t look so good, not so good after all these years, a bit green in the face, and the things she says are not so smart. Not smart, folks!

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But it's okay. It's okay, New York City.

I did not leave for a long while because I was in love with New York. I do not mean love in the gross way you feel inside that makes you weak. I mean love like, the city begged and pleaded with me, the city wanted to give me everything, they would catch and kill the bad stories for me. Here I was in Manhattan.

I remember when my publicist and I first moved to Manhattan. We needed new faces. All the old faces of contractors were upset, they whined and sobbed, they said, pay me, pay me, please. But I didn’t pay them. New York was a wonderful place, a brass jungle where dreams were made of, where you did not have to pay the people who built the dreams.

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But the city changed. They say I changed, but you know. I remember. One morning I woke up and something was different. There was a time when there were so many mobsters in my office that I worried about inviting cameras in to film the first season of “The Apprentice.” Where everything was brass, or at least brazen. When the smell of graft rose up from the whatever the river is called, and it was a good place to have a family, to not change your kids’ diapers in. Did the city change, or did I, or did the tax rate, or did the ongoing prosecution by the SDNY?

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So I said, should I leave? And the people cried.

A man came up to me on the street, he said, “Sir, you can’t leave, you can’t leave New York!” And he was crying. He said, “It’s going to be carnage if you leave, sir, it’s going to be bloody, painful carnage.” And I said, “I know, believe me, it’s going to be bad, but I have to do it! What can I say? They don’t tax you so good here in New York City. They don’t treat you very nice.” I said, “Maybe treat me nice, and I will stay.” But they didn’t treat me nice, and now I have to go.

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Melania said, “New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself.” I agree with Melania, so I am relocating from Trump Tower to Mar-a-Lago. Very bad for the city! But that is how it is. It used to be better. It used to be great, like America.

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