I recommend that people coming to New York go to a wonderful website, Chowhound.com (www.chowhound.com), and read the New York postings (there are separate threads for Manhattan and the Outer Boroughs, which include Brooklyn). It's a fantastic way to get real
opinions and find out about cool, small, cheap places as well as the
well-known glamour spots.
Of all the New York cliches, the funniest for me is the way people talk, or tawk. It's not just what New Yorkers say, it's how they say it, and where. I heard a man in deep conversation with his therapist on his cell phone in the middle of Times Square, and a woman on the metro discussing her orgasms in a way that would make most Tube travellers blush. And what's great is that nobody bats an eyelid. They're all too busy tawking.
This is why story slams hosted by The Moth are such a good find. They let New Yorkers do what they do best: tell their stories publicly, loudly and competitively. They happen on an open-mic basis every two weeks in venues around town - I saw mine at the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe in the Lower East Side. Each event has a theme and stories are judged by a panel, with winners going on to compete on one of the twice yearly Grand Slams.
The Moth draw on a diverse pool of talent to host the events - actors, authors, former presidential speech writers - and the storytellers themselves are razor sharp. As a night out it's funny, sad, brash, gentle and totally unscripted.
The Moth organisation has a wider purpose of running outreach programmes for marginalised people in New York City. Through workshops they encourage participants to shape their life experiences into well-crafted stories, which are then performed on stage. Their website states that part of their mission is to "satisfy our vital need for connection by celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience". I guess the same could be said for New York City itself.
You can find out more about The Moth at www.themoth.org/
New York Yankees. The world's most famous baseball team. Experience America's favourite pasttime surrounded by New Yorkers in 'The House that Ruth built' Even if you don't understand the rules, just soak up the atmosphere. Season runs from April to October
www.yankees.com Yankees Stadium, 161st Street & River Avenue, Bronx Metro: 161st Street / Yankee Stadium
Afternoon summer outdoor event - "staged in a stunningly futuristic architectural installation, provides a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike. Attendees can dance in the courtyard, sit under the canopied shade of the installation Sur by Xefirotarch, and view PS1’s current exhibition Greater New York 2005" Great young, hip crowd drinking/chatting/dancing/etc the sunny afternoons away before heading out for the night...
PS1 Contemporary Art Center, 22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave in Long Island City, 11101; T: 718.784.2084; F: 718.482.9454; www.ps1.org/
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