Screenshot from this video of Moby talking about LA architecture

While he was born in New York, Moby grew up in the town of Darien, CT... but he starts his screed against Modern Day NYC in Creative Time Reports by focusing only on the former: "I was born on 148th Street in 1965, and from then until the late 1990s it never dawned on me to live anywhere other than New York City." He yadda yadda yaddas over his decade-plus of suburban life, and then we meet him again in the 1980s when he's paying $140 a month to share an apartment on 14th Street, letting readers know that "AIDS, crack and a high murder rate kept most people away from New York back then. But even though it was a war zone, or perhaps to some extent because it was a war zone, Manhattan was still the cultural capital of the world." So there's the set up: Moby liked the Bad Old Days of New York, presumably as fuel for his craft. And now, the man who owned a vegan tea shop on Rivington Street for years, says "everything's changed... New York has become the city of money."

Didn't David Byrne already cover all of this?

Anyway, the musician recently relocated to Los Angeles—after selling his $5.8 million Bond Street penthouse and his $7.5 million UWS castle—where he lives in a mansion with sprawling, peaceful views. Just like Avenue A in the '80s. From there, he explains his concerns about the state of NYC. Some highlights:

  • "It took me years to notice I didn't have any artist friends left in Manhattan, and the artists and musicians I knew were slowly moving farther and farther east, with many parts of Brooklyn even becoming too pricey for aspiring or working artists."
  • "I don't know why they aren't moving to Newark. It's 15 minutes away from Manhattan and remarkably cheap."
  • "New York became... a victim of its own photogenic beauty and success."
  • "New York is exclusively about success. There's a sense that New Yorkers never fail, but if they do, they're exorcised from memory."
  • "Even friends of mine who are making very good salaries of $150,000 a year feel dirt-poor when they picture raising kids in New York. My friends who are trying to start families in New York have given up on simple things, like ever having a 50-square-foot backyard for their kids."
  • On L.A.: "David Lynch lives here, there's the Museum of Jurassic Technology, rents are relatively cheap, and I can run around outside 365 days of the year. Oh, and there are still recording studios."

While LA-based artists may have more room and experience less pressure while creating, is that a good thing? Have you met those juice-fueled new age sketchbook doodlers out there? Besides, as Alec Baldwin once told us, that very luxury could sink you: "New York is a river and LA a lake. New York has a current that pulls you in some direction. Where LA has none. So you have to row your boat in LA. You gotta get motivated."

But maybe the kid from Darien is torn between the excitement of the city and the need for personal space and beautiful landscapes—who can blame him? Just... the next time one of you successful, wealthy people want to remind us that we're overpaying to live in a tiny box in Brooklyn and will never have any time to focus on our dreams and never enough scratch to open a savings account and everything is better Somewhere Else ... please just save it for one of those salon nights you host in your ballroom. And maybe invite Steve Reich, who told us: "Of course it's quite different now. But if you are a musician, then it is really necessary for you to live in proximity to other musicians. New York is just teeming with all kinds of wonderful musicians who are up for all kinds of stuff, and that is a very fertile place to be. So it's worth it to suffer through living in Long Island City or Canarsie or Hoboken just so you can be part of that. And that’s what people are doing, and more power to them."