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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