Tuesday, February 23, 2010

new york state of mind

I'm eating breakfast at 7A again before driving up in the rain to Providence. They are playing Billy Joel's "The Stranger" album. This is one my parents had when I was a little kid, like grade school (I'd fogotten abot this one, and can now put this with the Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, and Bee Gee's version of Sargent Pepper as things I vaguey remember).

Anyway, hearing this album (it's pretty good actually) made me think about what my perception of New York was back then, o even before I moved here. And while you may think, from knowing me, it would have been shaped by music, I think it was really formed from television. Pittsburgh was far enough away, and different enough that New York really was very foreign to me when I got here.

Thinking back, Sesame Street was very informative. We had no sidewalks where I lived, no apartment buildings, no stoop, no deli's. It was this glimpse into urbanity that I didn't understNd but I think probably penetrated my unconscious and stayed there in terms of understanding that there was a bigger world out there than Elizabeth, Pennsylvania.

Taxi is the other show that comes to mind. I always felt it was kind of gritty and mean and I know I didn't get all the jokes but you could identify with these characters and their struggles as a diverse group. This was not "Friends".

Then there was Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Sanford and son (were these all in NY? I chat remember). But they all offered a glimpse into this world I never touched living in the country. I also vaguely remember watching Soap, obviously not getting much of the plot but watching it now.....

Even The Facts of Life had Jo from Brooklyn.

Strangely I don't rememer any tv from the 80's set in NY. At least at the moment. Maybe I mean mid 80's, because i bet a lot of these shows were actually from the early 80's. I wonder what shifted, but then reappeared on the 90's in totally different way. Should "Friends" be blamed for creating all these condos and kickstarting the city's plunge towards suburbanism?

Hm, not enough time to exlore this right now. Parking meter is up in 5. So I will leave you with that thought.

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