#8, #9 & #10: New York

The topless lady. Image: http://othelogervacio.tumblr.com

Okay okay — I’ve been remiss. Writing this from Ireland now, I have my last three “best things” about New York:

8. We all know that the US is a crazy place and New York is no exception. On the one hand you have police reprimanding a woman for sporting a short skirt while cycling, or religious leaders who forbid their female followers from wearing tank tops or talking on mobile phones in public. On the other hand, women are legally allowed to walk around topless in NYC — and more importantly, they do!

9. The creative spirit: It’s not fair to say that NYC is the only entrepreuneurial place in the world — apparently Switzerland is the globe’s most innovative country —  but there’s no doubt that New York has a lot going on. It is a city that creative people flock to. A few days before I left NYC I attended a conference run by my friend Amy Schroeder to bring together people from the tech, music and writing industries. It was a huge success and an exciting venture to be part of  (info. about Amy’s DIY Business Association is here).

The DIY Business Association Conference, June 26, 2011. Photo by Eleanor Templeton (from http://diybusinessassociation.com/)

10. Outdoor films — in people’s gardens! This is something of a continuation of no. 9, part of a philanthropic, public-minded entrepreneurial spirit that’s occasionally visible in NYC. Outdoor film screenings are nothing new in cities, but what is special about the one I went to in Astoria a couple of weeks ago is that it’s in someone’s backyard. The guy who runs them is a TV guy who has worked for HBO, and it showed: he made his own witty trailer for the film customized for the Astoria-garden location; his father even featured in it (the trailer), as the tailor who sewed up the screen. Neighbours and friends were invited, food and drink were supplied (and consumed). We sat outside under fairylights in Frank’s garden, sipping our drinks and watching Julie Andrews getting partially naked — something I would otherwise never have seen.

So: I have decided to stay on in New York for another year. The US does terrify me at times, with its fierce, unscrupulous politics and its disdain for those who are less well-off … Yet it remains a fun and exciting place where you can meet lots of generous people.* I’m still a European at heart; but for the next short while, I’ll be over there.

(*And, it goes without saying, lots of ungenerous ones. )

[This post was the last in my series in which I wrote about things that are great about New York — trying to figure out if I should stay there or leave]

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