The official homepage for writer and comedian H. Alan Scott.

My New York Arrival

New York Magazine has this great feature in its current issue about noteworthy people’s arrival in NYC.  I consider myself noteworthy, so I’m sure the invitation to take part in the article from NY Mag got lost in the mail.  In any case, I shall share my story here.

I moved to NYC on Wednesday, November 17, 2004, however I didn’t know it at the time.  I worked in politics and I had just concluded a failed U.S. Senate race in Missouri.  Before my anticipated move back to Chicago, I planned on visiting my friend Lori in Philadelphia, and then my friend Dylan (and future roommate) in NYC.

I took the Chinatown bus up from Philadelphia.  Dylan told me to find the Q train, but didn’t give directions through Chinatown.  After many failed attempts at asking for directions (FYI – never ask for directions in Chinatown, everyone is either Chinese or a tourist), I finally stumbled upon the Q train.

It was late afternoon, the sun was just setting.  The Q train came out onto the Manhattan bridge.  The view of lower Manhattan took my breath away.   There was no way I was going back to Chicago.

A week later I moved into a 4-bedroom apartment overlooking Prospect Park in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.  It was a total culture shock for me.  Here I was, a fat, gay, white, man moving into a predominantly black and Hasidic Jewish neighborhood with 3 straight guys from Little Rock, Arkansas.  I wasn’t in Boystown anymore!

I took a job with a closeted gay man running for Manhattan Borough President, but didn’t really do anything at the job.  I hated it, and the only reason I took it was because it paid well, I got my own office and it was in Midtown.  For the first few months in NYC all I did was work and watch marathons of TV on DVD.  Eventually I put down the pizza slice, discovered the benefits of living right on a park, and lost 100 lbs.

I owe NYC so much.  Without it, I probably never would have lost the weight or have shifted from politics to comedy.  NYC is my inspiration.

And now the American Express commercial can begin!

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