As a lifelong New Yorker, who recently moved to the Sunshine State, Steve Cuozzo’s piece on how much he hates Florida wasn’t offensive. It was hilarious.

“You’ll be back in five years,” Steve taunts.
Steve quotes the same finance bro, Jason Mudrick, who gets mentioned in every anti-Florida piece. Mudrick lives in New York and, like Steve, is probably watching his friends make a smart move for greener, um, sandier pastures. Don’t be jealous, guys.

What are Steve’s problems with the sunshine state? Construction might end up blocking your view! Because that never happens in New York. Climate change will destroy the whole place! According to Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, “New York has actually suffered more hurricane damage than Miami in the last 10 years.” Whoops. Flood insurance costs too much! Florida has no state income tax. We’ll find a way to pay those insurance prices.

And then Steve is worried about gators. Gators! You think a former New Yorker will care about gators? Every few years the NYPD finds some dude holed up with a lion or something in the city. Have you forgotten Antoinne Yates, found to be living with a tiger, a bear cub and yes, a gator, in Harlem? I’ve seen rats the size of gators in the NYC subway. If you’ve reached “but gators,” to criticize Florida you’ve run out of ammo.

Steve has long been one of my favorite food writers and I enjoy following him on Instagram where he is. . . frequently vacationing in Florida.

Florida
New York has endured more hurricane damage than Florida.
Universal Images Group via Getty

Florida man

There’s Steve at the Edition in Miami. There he is at the Colony on Palm Beach. He manages to keep his fear of gators very well-hidden. His captions don’t give away that he’s worried about the ocean washing him away. “After 3 months in deep freeze, happiness is the Edition Miami Beach pools.” “Missing the Palm Beach Colony Hotel, aka the Pink Paradise, after just four days home.”

What actually bugs Steve is that New York is in big trouble and many of us have reached the end of the road in fighting for it to improve while living there. Politics matter. Steve’s governor plays footsie with the far-left that every Democrat fears right now, while my governor is setting the path for the rest of his party. But have you compared our flood insurance costs?

I used to be a New York supremacist, like Steve. Nowhere else was good enough. But then the pandemic hit and New York had some of the worst handling of it in the entire world. Worse, New Yorkers thought they were doing well! They closed schools longer than almost anywhere. They put kids dead last in all reopening plans. They continue to mask toddlers even today. Toddlers! In June 2022! This is not the mark of a healthy city.

NYPD
Since the pandemic, crime has increased in New York City.
Christopher Sadowski

In October, Steve posted a picture of Radio City Music Hall, the culture which Steve says Florida is lacking in his piece, and captioned it “Modest prediction: the biggest holiday season in NYC history coming right up.” How did that prediction turn out? Omicron hit and New York did what New York now does, closed up tight and pretended that would help stop the spread. It didn’t. The Rockettes’ ‘Christmas Spectacular’ was canceled. The ridiculous vaccine passport locked so many New Yorkers out of this “culture” that Steve is so proud of, including 40% of Black New Yorkers and 60% of kids 17 and under. Even today, so many art venues in New York require masking. Keep your culture, I haven’t seen my mask in months.

It’s not just COVID. Crime has spiraled out of control. I know lifelong New Yorkers who don’t take the subway anymore. Now that schools are finally open, the kids are back to getting a full-on leftist indoctrination. Us new Floridians saw a saner path and we took it.

Anyway, Steve, if you want to criticize Florida, from an angle you actually cover, I’ll admit that my new state isn’t strong in Asian cuisines. We lack for flavorful chicken and broccoli at our door before we even hang up the phone. There’s nowhere to get soup dumplings. And if you could put in a word for Xi’an Famous Foods to open a south Florida location, those of us longing for their cumin lamb noodles would surely appreciate that.

NYC you later, Steve

Look, I get it. I don’t want New York to suck either. It’s my hometown and I’ll always love it.

But hating on Florida won’t bring back the city. New York needs to snap out of it. But even if the city suddenly reverts to form, most new Floridians won’t return. Maybe a few single finance guys who didn’t get approved for a membership at ZZ’s will be back with a tale of Florida woe.

But moving isn’t an easy decision. Moving with a family isn’t something any of us Florida-migrants took lightly.

We root for New York to recover but we won’t be back. We’ve found paradise and we’re staying. We’ll see you at the Colony, Steve.

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