The greater urban center that calls itself New York city has maintained its prominence as the center of the commercial and creative worlds through simple density. Both population density and financial density here are at such an extreme that anything is possible.
Artists move here to be closer to the money. Money people move here to control that money. In New York there are still people who buy art. Some of them pay large sums as an investment, others simply because they like the piece itself.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon interviewing Lionel Ziprin, a man who was born, raised and still lives in the neighborhood around Clinton and East Broadway. We spoke of the recordings of his grandfather made by Harry Smith, about Harry Smith himself and about Lionel’s life and the things he has seen. He spoke expansively on mystical traditions, Crowley, the Kabbalah and his interaction with Timothy Leary in the 1970s.
I lived here in New York for a year in the mid 1990s. I found the city overwhelming then, a vast moving being tuned into some hyperstatic plane of growth I was unable to groove with. I find the city now, as a visitor, an open and exciting place. Still too harsh for daily life, or the life I want to live, but the ability to reach out and connect with people, to pick up the phone and say hello is astounding. Everyone lives here, or will at some point. All things happen in the nexus of data that calls itself the 5 boroughs.