New York City is a tangled juxtaposition of beautiful and horrible, arousing and repulsive, frustrating and relaxing, right and wrong, and those complicated feelings have manifested themselves into "vibes." VIBES, VIBES, MOTHERFUCKING VIBES. They're sweeping this city and are as invasive and contagious as garbage-munching rats or Australian breakfast spots. What are vibes? To quote the youth: "They are everything." Fasten your seat belts and then undo them and get out of the car because you shouldn't be driving and reading.
To strip it down and define it in a bare-bones way, vibes are a feeling. To directly contradict that last statement, vibes are also very much not a feeling. Vibes are a reaction of the subsection of the population who ache to show the rest of the world how they live by expressing their current mood and financial situation with a photo and accompanying caption. They're a lie wrapped conveniently in a truth like a bacon-wrapped scallop: delicious on the outside, complete bullshit within.
The vibe-peddler wants to give their friends the impression that everything is better than how it seems, that some very real struggle has been conquered and metaphorically shat upon. Sometimes literally too. Is your West Village apartment approximately the size of a dresser drawer, forcing you to sleep under a curtain of your own T-shirts and dissatisfaction? Would you rather not mention that you pay $1500 a month for this coffin-with-a-kitchen, but feel the urge to show people that you can afford such a choice location with tasteful photographic evidence? Two words, one hashtag: #CityVibes. It's the constant, biting reminder that someone out there makes more money than you, but can still relate to your life on a basic level. Rich people—they're just like us!
Vibes are a worthless currency because they represent a very temporary time in your life. Inevitably, a good portion of those living under the vibes moniker will relocate to a bigger, cheaper apartment in a decidedly less cool part of town, while others will simply get fed up with the slyness behind non-expository-wealth-flaunting and just stop captioning their Instagram photos of hundred dollar bills with witty titles. No, vibes certainly aren't a real thing because they can't be felt by anyone except the person feeling them, assuming that person is even feeling them at all to begin with. This is, of course, not counting a viber's vibing circle of fellow vibers who can't get enough of the Brekkie Plate at the posh, new Australian joint downtown.
New York is a haunted city full of walking illusions, projecting an image of their lives to take out all the stress of the burdens known as personality and, well, just straight up existence.
It's all so terribly fucking temporary, like Americans who have zero British ties, yet always throw an extraneous "u" into words like "color," or basically anyone who smokes an e-cigarette outside of a bar. Vibes are the "lol that's so random" of the humblebrag game, a low-hanging fruit phrase to fill the space that prompts you to spend the rest of the day regretting not thinking of something more clever to say at the time.
New York is a haunted city full of walking illusions, projecting an image of their lives to take out all the stress of the burdens known as personality and, well, just straight up existence. They aimlessly walk the streets in the most perfect outfits and designer sunglasses, sipping on kiddie pools of coffee. It's like that Bruce Willis movie with all those dead folks lingering about—The Expendables 2. Could you live in a city where the Tupac hologram walked around with chiseled abs and sagging pants that could never technically fall off? Obviously not because that's fucking ridiculous.
For most of us, there's this perpetual rift between reality and fantasy in NYC, and vibes are a small part of the bragging scene that just won't die. One of the finest pieces of wisdom about this goddamn place comes from the infamous opening lines of Spy magazine's 1985 direct mailer for charter subscribers: "Isn't New York wonderful? Isn't New York awful? Don't you hate New York? Don't you love New York?" Yes, yes, yes and yes. Regardless of the fact that they received a plethora of cancellation notices directly after that first issue was released, Spy got that shit down cold.
New York City is already a hard enough place to live. To trounce around the glorious Internet suggesting that it isn't just kinda makes you a piece of shit. Don't do that. Let the holograms fade away and allow those "vibes" of yours to gracefully exit the scene, just like Bruce Willis in The Expendable 3.
Jeremy Glass was conceived in a seedy dance hall in Hartford, CT during the summer of 1986 and was born nine months later in the bathroom of that very same club. You can read about all the weird things he puts up his nose on Supercompressor and follow him on Twitter here if you want to be DM'd nude pictures of Burt Reynolds.