9 New York Scenes From 'Broad City' That Speak To The Absurdity That Is The Big Apple
There's nowhere in the world like New York. Where else can you take in an opera show, wait two hours in line for a rainbow bagel, and get chased by a homeless person all in the same day? What a town! Few shows capture this unique NY hybrid of high, low, hipster, scene-y, and "dregs of humanity" better than Broad City . Bless these magnificent Kweens.
In the grand tradition of cities playing characters, our favorite metropolis has been the mischievous third wheel to Abbi and Ilana's indestructible friendship for three seasons of this glorious show. Unlike in previous pop culture roles, we finally see The Big Apple play to its full range of mundane absurdity — the kind us civilians deal with every day. The nerve-racking hallmarks of city life are all there, from horrific apartment tours, to the struggle of finding a tolerable subway car, to the gentrification of Gowanus. Putting ourselves in Abbi and Ilana's shoes, we can take a break from being stressed out by these five-borough problems and laugh at them for once. The city may be cruel, but it still has one heck of a sense of humor.
Season 3 of Broad City (airing now on Comedy Central) is sure to bring us plenty more playfully demented New York scenes. With that in mind, we're counting down some of the most archetypal NYC bits that our girls have brought us thus far. Catch Broad City, Wednesdays (TONIGHT) at 10/9c on Comedy Central or anytime on the CC App!
1. Sh*tty Apartments
The apartment hunt is a unique form of hell that all New Yorkers must endure at some point. A perfectly illustrative example of the high-rent, low-value New York real estate struggle is Abbi's apartment hunt. When a frantic realtor (played by the inimitable Amy Sedaris) shows her to a windowless, closet-sized hallway, she spins it as "a beautiful railroad-style apartment!" IRL, it's actually a place where dreams go to die.
2. The Scourge Of Gentrification
Through the lens of Abbi's post-wisdom tooth extraction trip, this show addresses the ultimate indicator of NYC gentrification: the presence of a Whole Foods. When Ilana comes to rescue Abbi from her descent into the market's spot in Gowanus —a neighborhood primarily famous for a sewage-filled canal that the New York Times once called "the world's dirtiest waterway" — she utters the thing us New Yorkers have said time and time again. "Damn. This neighborhood is changing."
3. The Eternal Struggle Of The Subway
Abbi and Ilana fighting their way through the bonkers melting pot of the subway is all of us on our morning commutes. How do you politely exit the vomit-covered subway car again? The answer is, you shirk all social grace and run for it.
4. The Circus Of Trash On St. Mark's Place
That strip of 8th Street known as St. Marks' Place can be called the palpitating heart of the East Village, and our gals nail its delightfully cheap, neon-splashed grotesquery. From the drunk college kids, to the one-percenter punks, to the man on stilts dressed like a tree, the gang's all here!
5. Conceited Hipsters At Beacon's Closet
The buyers at Beacon's Closet are devastatingly hip bridge trolls who live to thwart your attempts to sell clothing. When Abbi encounters her own hipster gatekeeper at Beacon's, she dishes out the perfect burn: "I know that shirt's from Forever 21. You're not kidding anybody."
6. Penn Station Being The Worst
Anyone who knows the bridge-and-tunnel lifestyle understands Penn Station for the claustrophobic transit wasteland it is. Abbi's wedding date refusing to venture there is undoubtedly a dick move, but he has a good reason: "Penn Station. I can't. It's disgusting."
7. Old Money On The Upper East Side
As Ilana puts it, there's a certain section of the privilege-soaked Upper East Side that is nothing short of a "horrible vapid wasteland." If you dare to venture there, you run the risk of hearing sound bites like this one: "I'm fine with a tsunami, but not in Saint Barth's. Anywhere else is fine. "
8. The Canal Street Purse Mines
When Ilana's mom comes to town (in the form of boss bitch Susie Essman), they descend into the depths of the Canal Street counterfeit bag markets. And while the promise of a deal has attracted many of us curious city-dwellers, you know that the process can be harrowing. Don't rule out climbing down a manhole or two in pursuit of purses.
9. The Terror Of A Sample Sale
If you've ever been to a pop-up designer sale, you've seen some pretty grisly stuff. Just like Abbi and Ilana witness in the premiere of Season 3, man's baser instincts really come out when discount clothing is at stake. People will literally punch each other in the face for the best deal. No dressing rooms, no mercy. After the emotional trauma of it all, you feel like you can't not leave with something. As Ilana says, "If you don't buy it, what was all of that for?" Exactly.
Image: Comedy Central (2)