Saturday, February 24, 2024

Your Prenup with New York City

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This agreement is made between the City of New York (“New York City”) and Young Person Without Any Assets (“You”).

I. Division of Property

It is the desire of both parties to determine their respective rights and responsibilities in the event of death, separation, or inflation. The parties agree to the terms and conditions provided below.

  • New York City will retain a vibrant cultural scene, featuring Broadway shows, opera, dance, live music, fine art, etc.

  • You will acquire thirty thousand dollars in debt.


  • New York City will acquire the ability to walk from one neighborhood to the next with ease and a vast subway system that operates twenty-four hours a day.

  • You will move out of state and get to learn how to drive in your forties.


  • New York City will obtain all restaurants, bars, and cafés—including Michelin-starred ones—and bakeries for dogs that are nearly as expensive as Michelin-starred restaurants.

  • You will acquire wide, empty aisles in suburban supermarkets. (Legally speaking, this is a fair trade.)


  • New York City will maintain all luxury hotels, such as the Waldorf-Astoria and the Plaza Hotel, as well as budget-friendly hotels wherein showers are situated directly next to the bed.

  • You can’t afford to stay at any of those places.


  • New York City will retain Fashion Week, Fifth Avenue, SoHo, and those incredibly intimidating, spacious boutiques in Greenpoint which sell only five items.

  • Do you even own a second pair of pants?


  • New York City will keep the convenience of late-night food delivery and bodegas on every street corner.

  • You will find yourself starving at 9 P.M. because your fridge is empty, and the nearest grocery store is a twenty-minute drive away, and you still haven’t got around to getting your learner’s permit, so you will resort to eating a handful of fortune cookies from last week’s takeout.



  • New York City will continue to possess hospitals staffed by renowned specialists offering world-class care.

  • You hopefully won’t have to continue relying on shots of whiskey to ease the pain in your upper left molar.


  • New York City will retain the cachet of being a New Yorker.

  • You will tell anyone you meet that you’re a former New Yorker, and when they ask why you separated from New York City you will grumble something about wealthy New Yorkers doing better than ever while the rest are suffering more and more, and yet, despite all that, you still find yourself wistfully thinking about those golden years together, and how you’ll never be able to find a satisfying bagel that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside ever again.

II. Visitation Rights

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