Friday, March 23, 2012

The Big Cultural Apple

“New York has long been considered the cultural capital of America. Is it still? If not, where?”
View from the old WNYC bathroom
The simple answer is yes. "The Muppets took"? Manhattan. "How do you get to _______ Hall? joke" - Carnegie (deli too, there is no Disney Deli [of fame anyway!]) is the answer...and The Horowitz Nail wasn't in the Kennedy Center or Sydney Opera House (although I am sure they were accommodating if and when the famed pianist had played there).
New York City happens to have a lot of great musicians, writers, dancers, chefs, performers, etc. Certainly in the past Vienna and Leipzig were musical capitals for a long time, and I might even argue that the Berlin Philharmonic may be the greatest orchestra on earth, but dollar to donuts - bagels if you will - New York is America's cultural capital.
I've written about some of my time in NYC, and certainly interviewed quite a few folks there. I love it, and have to admit I am a bit biased. When Paris, je t'aime came out, I said, you know, that last clip is how I feel about New York! Woody Allen of course did a great job in this clip:

John in "Upstate Manhattan" Inwood
I have lived in NYC for two short stints - in college I took a break and stayed 3 months in midtown Manhattan and split a sublet, and more recently in late 2007/early 2008, renting a room in what I called "Upstate Manhattan" - Inwood is the official title. (See me at a famous corner there on the right side of this column.)
I treasure my time there and look forward to returning again and again, perhaps one of these days to actually reside.

I will play devil's advocate for just a second and say that with the internet, and technology, having a geographical "cultural" capital is a bit old fashioned. Europe has a cool project where the city changes every year, and with equality in funding from the NEA and NEH, there are cities just as worthy as NYC to be called the cultural capital - San Francisco, Chicago, LA are easily part of this fabric!
(This is my first entry for the Spring4Music Blogger Challenge!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John, you ROCK!

nobody gets around the globe like you do....carry on and keep us in the loop. El Destructo