Thursday, July 20, 2006

NYC: Five Facts, Five Reasons (Thursday)


FACT 4. Influence of NYC:
“It competes with Los Angeles as media capital, with Paris as fashion and art capital, with London as theater and literature capital, with Tokyo as financial and corporate capital, and with Washington DC as power capital. It is second only to Boston in number of College students. But no other city excels in all of these areas. (The Pope once greeted Cardinal O’Conner as “The Archbishop of the capital of the world”!) It is certainly the communications center of the globe. Millions of the next wave of US immigration -- Latino and Asian -- are coming to New York for a generation before assimilating out into mainstream society, as did their predecessors, the Jews and Italian. In summary, New York is the single most formative influence on US culture and society.”

When I read something like this, I always think of the Apostle Paul, and how he was eager to preach in Rome.

If you have been to NYC, take a go at describing it briefly in the comments!

Love, Justin.

PS Photo by a good friend at my church. And, in the spirit of Bryon (see HERE and HERE), can you pick the building? Pick it, then descibe your experience on the city.

14 comments:

Scott said...

I have only been to NY once, when I was 12. I remember; lots and lots of yellow taxi cabs, a telephone in our hotel bathroom, my dad getting a waiter fired and a toy shop with the biggest gorilla suit I have ever seen. I think it was also my first memory of seeing street people begging.

byron said...

Rockefeller Centre!

NYC: so much the capital of the world that people don't bother leaving to find out that much of the world is actually quite similar. In other words, NYC is so cocky about being cosmopolitan that it is parochial!

Oh, and it looks just like all the movies - the most familiar new place I've been to...

nfloridonker said...

Let me just say that I love NYC, especially the NYC of my dreams, and the NYC of movies (ie that of those with major cash!) I have had a fantastic time in the 7 weeks in total that I have spent in Manhattan.

in NYC last november, Joshua and I were jet lagged and unable to sleep at 4 am ... so we ventured out to Times Square (in the city that never sleeps ...) and found that basically everything was closed except for the Duane Reade chemist and a starbucks! We were a tad disappointed ... I guess you have to know where to go ...

On this particular morning, I noticed that on the subway we were in the minority - there were mainly of a whole lot of tired looking Hispanic and African Americans who were obviously up at the crack of dawn traveling into Manhattan from the boroughs or further afield for what i can only assume to be low paying and low prestige jobs in the City. For all of our problems with welfare in Australia, there is a definite safety net for the disadvantaged. In NYC i felt keenly that it is a city for those with $$. The movies, and shows of the ilk of Sex in the City don't really expose this "underclass"; what is portrayed about NYC is the glitzy 5% of the iceberg sitting above the water.

Just some thoughts. BTW, for some reason I really loved the SkyRide at the bottom of the Empire State!

Nat J.

byron said...

PS Jsutin, no offense intended to NYers, it may have been that I was sick for the week I was there, but the small sample of (born and bred) locals we met seemed to be far more insular than expected.

Justin said...

Scott -- The hotel bathroom telephone is such a frustrating and beautiful thing -- its so good to have one right there, but one feels a sense of shame about using it. So I end up simply staring at it, like I stare at the roll.

Nat -- An underclass there certainly is. Not sure if its 95% underwater. [Although I take your point that ‘Sex and the City’ might imply that.] But I find that it is not a particularly unwilling underclass. That is -- I speak to taxi drivers [for obvious previous professional reasons] who come from Haiti, Dominican Rep, etc. And I ask them if they miss the beauty and life of their country for NYC. Answer: Always No. NYC is where they want to be. I find that the more I live here, the more I think that the 5% are the ones underwater, and the 95% are above it. Interesting.

Bryon -- You could never offend. Your comments are always fun, gracious, and clever. The only thing I ask of you is that you ditch the idea that you might offend! You are always welcome to comment. I did find your experience interesting. Of course, it was only a couple of [sick] days, but I find that New Yorkers are very well travelled and are always seeking to move outside of the city. That having been said, there is an ‘international sensory overload’. You can only talk about national differences for about 5 minutes before it gets boring. And the other thing that may go in your favor: The local news stations and some newspapers [the NY Post in particular] are so insular it is extraordinary. Just this week, Lebanon is under fire, and the NY Post’s front page is about Christie Brinkley’s fourth husband’s Long Island infidelity. Crazy.

Bryon -- I’d still like to hear who you met and why you thought that. It might help me.

Justin said...

Any other impressions of NYC?

Anonymous said...

bitter, twisted, selfish, greedy and angry. that's NYC. that's the absence of Christ in nyc....the secular power-sex-money capital of the world.

Justin said...

Hey Anonymous. Pretty bleak assessment. I don't normally respond to anonymous posts. [I prefer people to boldly own their comments!] But can I ask two questions: What is your city/town like in contrast? And have you had a bad experience of NYC?

seapea said...

i love nyc. my motto is "don't look people in the eyes" and it works for me! i love the fact i'm anonymous in this crowded city and that if you've been okay here, you're basically okay elsewhere! i also love the rhythm of the city: fast fast fast slowwwww fast fast fast slowwwww. but to be honest, i think i'll hate it here if i were to have a baby or somethin'. it'd be too dirty and too tiring, mentally (all the people & places you have to look out for your kids) and physically (caring your brood on your back & in your hands, subway steps, up & down, ugh...). ENJOY WHILE YOU CAN!

Goldy said...

I really loved walking around NYC both times that I was there. It is a little surreal because SOOO much of the city has been in different movies. In Sydney I can only walk past the "Lady in Red" fountain from Matrix....

I did notice that people were less friendly in NYC. Not that they wouldn't chat to you and be ULTRA accomodating when they knew you were an Aussie, but they didn't approach you to chat like so many friendly Yanks have in other cities...

byron said...

Jsutin: You could never offend. Sounds like a challenge...
We were there just before the big snowstorm near the start of the year and stayed for six days. We spent four of them staying with a few different locals we met through an international organisation. Thus, I realise the sample size was ludicrously small, yet it also made us realise how possible it is to get very different impressions of a place based on random encounters.

Katie said...

I love New York with my dad, cos he worked there in the 70s and knows the city like the back of his hand, he knows all the buildings and stuff about them - his old office building (which he calls the superman building cos it has a metroplis-esque globe on the top) is now home to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
The first time i went to NY i was 7, and we got on a ferry to go to the statue of liberty, and i got ambushed by a group of japanese tourists who were ooh-ing and aah-ing at me and stroking my hair and having pictures with me. (my mum says it was cos i had quite light hair and dark brown eyes, and they weren't used to that colouring or something. i maintain that i was a really gorgeous kid!)
I think it is my favourite place in the world.

chelsea said...

I love NYC!
Only been there once, when I was in high school and living in the states, but i loved it and cannot wait til i return!

My memory of it involves time square filled with mounted police, central park, and broadway, oh and galleries...and rockefeller centre...oh its all good hehe!

ok so it is a little dirty and dark at times, but thats like most cities really...

tondon said...

Pumping, seething, sweating, breathing, tall, tight, and sweeeeet!