How has the city changed since you moved there? If you are a native NYer, how has the city changed in your lifetime?
I'm stuck in Texas, but I can see any movie I want through Netflix and I can buy any book I want through Amazon and therefore, I'm not culturally deprived. Anyway, that's what I tell myself.
And do you go to the Metropolitan Opera at your local movie theater?
Ooh, look at R1! He cares about opera!
Manhattan has been gentrified to the point where parts of it now look like a Pasadena shopping mall and it's a fucking tragedy. Oh, and don't get me started on those cookie-cutter condo towers that are butchering the skyline...
Well, speaking as a resident Eldergay, if you wanna see my New York put "Midnight Cowboy" and "Boys in the Band" on your queue.
[quote]I'm stuck in Texas, but I can see any movie I want through Netflix and I can buy any book I want through Amazon and therefore, I'm not culturally deprived.
Well, in that case, I can watch "Superman" and feel EXACTLY LIKE I'm flying through the air and saving the WORLD!
I'm under 30, but it's gotten more congested (vehicular AND pedestrian traffic) and more transplant-y with certain types of people that are hard for me to describe with words. I don't know if I'd like NYC, or Manhattan at least, if I weren't from here. I feel like I wouldn't. I definitely wouldn't like the surrounding metropolitan area.
This question has inspired me to ask my dad. His brain cache of New York trivia is astounding. And he and my relatives lived here in apparently more interesting times.
Born and raised in NYC and still live here.
Unregulated commercial real estate prices have destroyed whatever was interesting about NYC. Landlords now all think they are entitled to exorbitant amounts of rent and the result is an island of chain stores. Independent entrepreneurs can no longer afford to open a business.
You tell me what's more interesting a store whose rent is $40,000 a month or a store whose rent is $1,000 a month.
R5 is a rude LITTLE prick
The subway has gone to shit since they did away with tokens. You go up to a machine to buy a Metrocard and they are always "Single Rides Only" or "No Bills" because the fucking employees can't be bothered to refill the machines. And then you go swipe your Metrocard and get the stupid "Swipe again" message because the employees can't be bothered to clean the sensors. I love how London had the card that you feed into the slot and it pops out the top. And now they have the Oyster card which you just hold against the sensor.
Bloomberg's urban planning is for shit. The pedestrian malls are an eyesore and the bike lanes allow bikers to run over pedestrians legally. NYU has completely taken over the Village and it has lost any sense of the bohemian that it once had.
There is nothing creative in NYC anymore. East of Broadway between 14th Street and Canal Street was always an interesting place. Great shops like Canal Jeans and Unique Clothing Warehouse have all been replaced by suburbia shit like Gap and Eddie Bauer.
New York used to have an edge to it. Now there's more edge at Disneyworld. It was also a place for highly creative people: great off-Broadway shows, interesting art stores, funky coffee houses. Now it's devoid of anything original. No more Warhol, Basquait or Haring.
And the gay scene? Puh-leeze. Cops now arrest people in the Ramble after dark. WTF is that all about? Of course there is no more cruising like there used to be at Christopher Street piers. New York has lost everything!
48 year old here, lived in Brooklyn my entire life
same neighborhood, same home
The city is safer times 1000. The subways are better than ever. I do miss subway tokens though, lol.
The ethnic mix has deepened, which is wonderful. Stereotypical NYC Jews and Italians are mostly gone.
The financial industry is a shadow of itself, sadly I am unemployed for a year now.
The new construction is indeed souless and very bland. What makes me sadder, and this is unique to right now, is the older buildings everyone "rediscovered" (and then widely-imitated worldwide) are crumbling. Even the best maintained brick structures are quickly deteriotating, look at last week's issue with that huge condo on 6 ave in Chelsea.
People are oddly MUCH more isolated now. Fragmentation means legendary places "everyone" wanted to get into, like Studio 54, just do not exist and cannot be replicated. Nightlife in general has declined.
New restaurants and clubs need to be associated with hotels to survive. This concept was once considered so very suburban.
Broadway is far less important these days.
In fact the only really consistently crowded places are Apple stores.
I have no doubt that NYC has become much more uninteresting, more chain stores, lost its edge, etc., but are you overstating your point, R9?
I find it hard to believe that there's "nothing" edgy or creative or interesting about NYC anymore. I've only been there as a tourist, and all since 1998, so I really wouldn't know. It's a huge city, so there must still be interesting people, stores, scenes, etc., somewhere, right?
The West Village has basically become one high-end boutique after another; almost all of the quaint little shops are gone. I have nothing against high-end boutiques, but I don't think that should be all there is. And the housing in the WV! My god even if you make six figures a year it's almost too expensive now. Looking at NY real estate listings, week after week after week, it's almost hard to believe there really are that many people with that much money but apparently it's true!
It's not about the architecture, it's about the electricity. Chances are, if you're 19, gay, coming in on the train from New Haven, you're gonna like what you find. You'll meet up with some of the most interesting people around, take in the bars, have fried eggs at an all nite diner, maybe get laid. Ah yes, I remember it well.
So what I'm hearing is that New York has become an extremely desirable, clean, safe, and has lots of great retail, and that New Yorkers want to go back to the days of high murder rates, public urination, and run down buildings.
Honey, get out of Texas before they build a wall around the entire state and you're stuck down there with all those Teabaggers. I heard Nugent lives in Texas now, too. Run for your life, sugar!
r11, I will let the other New Yorkers be my judge and jury.
[quote]So what I'm hearing is that New York has become an extremely desirable, clean, safe, and has lots of great retail, and that New Yorkers want to go back to the days of high murder rates, public urination, and run down buildings.
I don't think they want to go back to all of that, BUT, in a lot of ways, a lot of the "good" that they want back goes hand in hand with the "bad." Cities tend to be that way. Beautiful, predictable, exceedingly safe cities that can be enjoyed on an obvious level are often lacking (though not necessarily totally devoid of) edge, a particular energy (though not "all" energy), a certain unpredictability that enables enjoyment on an entirely different level. It's a complex thing. I'm sure no one really wants high murder rates, but a LOT of the things that have changed the city and driven murder rates down also have the effect of changing the city in less desirable ways -- at least for a lot of people who desire a certain type of city/urban experience.
I love hearing NY stories, especially about the time and culture pre WW2.
I wasn't at all trying to judge you, R9. I find your comments insightful and interesting. I was honestly asking if due to your personal frustration with NYC if you overstated your point? If not, fine. I was just thinking that in such a large, diverse city, that there must be SOMETHING that still has the NYC-feel/soul that you value. Again, wasn't trying to be an ass.
Well, I always think of my glory years in NYC being 1970-75. I'd been coming in since I was a kid and loved it, it was a whole different world from the leafy suburbs, but during that time my whole world opened up. Christopher Street, the Trucks, the Firehouse on Wooster, the Piers, the after-hours places, gay lib was in the air. You could meet the most interesting people and go to the most fabulous places.
Back then, we'd play a game where we each had to take on a character from Boys in the Band and see who could destroy each other first. "What I am Stephen is a 32-year-old Jewish pockmarked fairy!"
I was always Donald.
Wait, it was "What I am Michael," yeah, Michael.
Sadly, just about everything the posters here are lamenting about the "new" New York are true. I'm from Brooklyn and I have just about decided to move to a small town. My reasoning is much the same as R1's when it comes to having access to just about anything you'd want, other than culture, via the internet. Every place has an art theater so finding some interesting independent films is not that difficult. If I can find a small town with an interesting local theater company, a chamber orchestra or ballet company, a venue to see comedy, musical acts, talking heads like Bill Maher and John Stewart and a vibrant local music scene, then I would be so there. I guess a college town is what I'm looking for. I would miss the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Prospect Park, but that's about it.
See r11/r19, the problem with NYC is "Friends" and "Sex and the City". Those two shows brought people to the city looking for that lifestyle. So crappy places like Magnolia Bakery with their dry-ass cupcakes have now become popular. There can't be anything that has soul anymore because as soon as these people find out about it, they come in and ruin it.
Broadway has become nothing but staged versions of movies. I can't think of the last time we've seen something creative and original. And all the Hollywood stars are flocking to Broadway to demonstrate how they can't act and have no stage presence. And the revivals of the classics (Cat, The Heiress, etc) turn out to be poor productions. We haven't seen a good Shakespeare production in years.
And by the way, Greenwich Village now has two IHOP restaurants. That's how bad it has become. Pushed out are people like Kenny Shopsin for crap like IHOP.
I agree with all the "it ain't like it used to be" posters but I also think NYC is an organic city defined by the people who come here. It changes over time. Big clubs open and close, little clubs on the Lower East Side thrive. It's all the same. I moved to a small town a few years back. Two stoplights. I have to drive 5 mins to get coffee. It's absolutely beautiful and there are great places to explore in the surrounding areas. Oh, did I mention I'm over 50.
Where is Kenny Shopsin these days?
Kenny Shopsin is at the Essex Street Market
The other thing I miss about NY is the character type people. The waitresses that would tap their pencils on their pads and say "Whataya have doll?" The old widows that would be sweeping the steps of their brownstones on the Upper West Side wearing their house dresses. They would have four or five lodgers helping them pay the mortgage. The Barbizon Hotel for aspiring models. The cab drivers who were all opinionated Archie Bunker types.
Oh cry the beloved island. Yes, New York was a crime ridden shit hole in the 80s/90s, but at least it was OUR crime ridden shit hole. Manhattan belonged to the people who lived here and we made it our own. Art thrived here because there was nothing holding it back, artists could actually AFFORD to live here. But then Bloomberg came in with his yuppie army and sold Manhattan out to corporate developers piece by piece so now it's the land of Whole Foods, Olive Garden, Banana Republic and 10,000 fucking Starbucks. When St Vincent's Hospital closed I knew it was all over, plus NYU now wants to bulldoze what's left of Greenwich Village and turn it into more of a playground for its overindulged suburban hipster youth spawn. Living here is getting depressing, I think it's time for a new city. Sorry, rant over.
NYU taking over the Village is pretty depressing. And that school is just going to keep growing and growing, too.
That sounds like a movie r27
Were the murders in the 70s like those now? Crazy people pushing strangers onto the tracks? Or were they gang murders?
It makes a no difference if the murder rate is low if you think you are going to be randomly killed instead of killed by a rival gang member, etc.
Why do all of you who have never even been to New York obsess over the crime rate? Trust me. You'd love it here. You would be right at home among the Duane Reades and Walgreens and Starbucks on every street corner. Throw in the IHOPs and Red Lobsters and Applebees and you would be in suburban frau hog heaven. Hell, they have even managed to make Target less hip than K-Mart. Don't worry about being pushed under a subway train. You'll die of boredom way before one the the local krazies can get their dirty hands on you.
Nothing lasts forever. Time to find another city to fawn over.