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March 7, 2014

I’ll Take Manhattan

By C. Margery Kempe

If all has gone according to plan, I should be waking up in New York today. Actually not Manhattan as in this Wikimedia photo, but upstate. However, I have noticed that when you say ‘New York’ people inevitably make the jump to ‘Manhattan’ and you have to head that off if you want people to realize where you actually are.

There’s a romance associated with the city that doesn’t extend to the actually very glorious upstate regions, but that’s okay. We’d just as soon avoid Manhattan real estate prices! Like my favourite city, London, the boom in prices has put the city out of reach of most folks. As this photo shows, it’s led to a bland corporate landscape that removes all the wonderful things that made you love the city in the first place.

I don’t think the allure of NY will pass any time soon: there are too many wonderful films that ensure the love affair with Manhattan will go on.

One of my favourites is His Girl Friday in which Howard Hawks directs a fabulous Rosalind Russell and a snappily speedy Cary Grant in one of the fast-talkingest screwball comedies ever filmed. It makes fun of Albany where I teach, so even more fun. Ralph Bellamy plays his always believable nice guy (with a nice in-joke about that).

Speaking of Rosalind Russell, there’s also Auntie Mame. Mame Dennis has long been my role model for declaring, ‘Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!’ She has a family made up of the people she chooses to have with her as well as those actually related to her. And she’s hilarious and adventurous. Great role model for anyone! And I like to think of my NY house as my ‘3 Beekman Place’ even if it’s a little more remote.

A sentimental fave: while Rock-n-Roll High School  might have defined my high school ambitions, it was so Californian that I found Times Square was a little more ‘real’ to me just because it was New York. It  feels very much of its time now, but I am still just as fond of it. It’s got an immensely fantastic soundtrack. Still got the double disk LP 🙂 And hey, Tim Curry!

What’s your fave NY film?

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12 comments

  • Post authorbookwyrm217

    Welcome home!!

    Reply to bookwyrm217
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I like NYC — the Woody Allen NYC. I like the culture–the museums, the art galleries (esp. Chelsea), and the opera. I like the Algonquin, and I love a taxi cab ride across Central Park at dusk. I like the people I know in NYC too.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorKel

    I love upstate NY, it’s one of my favourite fall places and I try to take at least one random drive through when I’m feeling like being out and about. As far as movies, I have terrible taste in them and tend to like big explosions or large monsters (or alien things) and somethimes things that evoke a particular response at a particular time. I do have to admit a fondness for The Last Unicorn and Labrynth and Beetlejuice still makes me giggle and get up and jump around at the the end.

    • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

      I like all kinds of films 🙂 destroying big cities can be therapeutic.

      Reply to C. Margery Kempe
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    Too bad you’re NOT in Manhattan! We could hook up.

    I like Woody Allen Manhattan, too. He has a way of making cities look so appealing. He did it for NYC, for London, Paris, Rome . . .

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore

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