The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Literature and Arts (#atozchallenge)









English: The author of this image is me, David...
 The author of this image is me, David Shankbone. Taken 6 August 2006. The Bowery Poetry Club on The Bowery, New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Manhattan:  Literature and Arts

        When I asked the question What does Manhattan say to you?, many of the comments mentioned references to things related to literature and the arts in general.   This is what first comes to my mind as well.  I've seen so many movies and television shows that take place in Manhattan and heard songs inspired by the city, as well as knowing about the many creative people who have come from or made their names in this famous New York borough.

        Woody Allen practically made a career making movies that take place in Manhattan.  Greenwich  Village has long been a bohemian center of the arts that nurtured many greats of music, literature, and all other art forms.  In an earlier post we already looked at Broadway and the Bowery--both centers of theater both highbrow and the more plebeian.  And we mustn't forget the many museums, galleries, and bastions of education in the arts.   Manhattan is brimming with creativity in all artistic forms.
     
   Jan Morrison...I would like to sit in the Algonquin and have a martini with Dorothy Parker.      
        Jan's reference to the legendary daily Round Table luncheon at the Algonquin hotel is one that many writers might fantasize about.  That heyday is long gone, but many writers still find their own forums and social gatherings.   Then there are the conferences and other events that draw writers from throughout the continent and even the world.  One upcoming conference that is a yearly event is the Writer's Digest Annual Conference, where writers can hobnob with other writers as well as agents, publishers, and others connected to the world of literary arts.

Other Voices on Manhattan

Michele Truhlik said:  

        When I hear the word Manhattan, the first thing I think about is Sex and the City. I love how the city was portrayed in that show and how it was a character in the story just as much as any of the actors. When I see Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte meeting up for breakfast to talk about their love lives or glamming up for a night out on the town, I so want to live there, even if for a short time.

       I've only been to Manhattan a few times but I remember fondly the times that I was there. I remember being shell-shocked at the sheer number of people on the streets when I emerged from Grand Central Station. I remember walking through Central Park.

      When I hear Manhattan, I think of the night I spent laughing my ass off in a comedy club as the comedians poked fun at New Yorkers (especially the cab drivers) and flirting with the drummer there. I remember seeing Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd on Broadway. I remember going to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and bar-hopping. That was the night I met the guy who was the baby featured in a classic TV commercial (which I can't think of right this second).

      I can see why Manhattan is often referred to as the greatest city in the world. It has a lure that calls me sometimes...and one of these days I just may answer that call...    Michele at Angels Bark

      Sheena-kay Graham came up with another idea:  "Have not heard Manhattan in a long time. Just thought some place in America. Then I thought deeper and came up with Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. Jamaicans are deep like that."   That certainly works for me though I'm not familiar with the character or the graphic novel series.  

Manhattan and the Movies


       Loni Townsend said the same thing as many others similarly expressed:  

The first thing that comes to my mind is: Movies. That's the only way I've experienced Manhattan myself.

       That's the closest some of us will ever get to visiting Manhattan and actually it's not a bad way to see the city up close and in a greater depth than we might ever see by going there in person.  Loni, you're probably in a majority as the many people who have actually been to Manhattan are likely vastly outnumbered by those who have only experienced the city vicariously through movies and media.

        Karen Walker added her own personal story along with an astute observation:
      I was born in NYC, so Manhattan was just one of the five boroughs making up the city I lived in. But as I grew up, Manhattan became the magical place where stars appeared on Broadway. Where lights twinkled as brightly as the stars in the sky. Where high finance ruled the world from Wall Street. People think Manhattan is New York City. Woody Allen's movies helped form this perception. They never take place in Queens or Brooklyn or the Bronx or Staten Island.

       For some a specific movie comes to mind when thinking about the metropolis on the New York island.   "Muppets Take Manhattan!" was the response of  L. Diane Wolfe

        Others might think of a particular image often seen in movies where Manhattan is the setting.  G. B. Miller expresses one that might be most common for many of us in this generation:
      Manhattan...Hmmm...considering the last time I was in NY State was some eight or nine years ago and the last time I was in NYC was my sophomore year of high school, Manhattan doesn't really mean that much to me. Except I get a strong dose of sadness whenever I see old t.v. shows that feature the WTC in the opening montage (i.e. Barney Miller and the Billy Ray Cyrus show called "Doc").      I Are Writer!
      I've known that sadness on more than one occasion. Most recently it was when I watched the film The Walk which was about the tightrope walker who crossed between the towers on a cable strung illegally between the towers.  My eyes welled with tears at the end of that film as I considered 9/11 and what had been lost on that day.  There are so many times that we see those towers in films and television shows.  Seeing them is like seeing an old photo of a lost loved one.

Just Thinking on Manhattan

       Here are a few other thoughts on Manhattan:


        Debbie at Doglady's Den reflected,  
Manhattan, borough of New York City: Sophisticated, urban, Broadway, skyscrapers, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Eva Gabor (from "Green Acres": ♫ New York is where I'd rather stay. I get allergic smelling hay. I just adore a penthouse view. Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue. ♫)I've never been there, but it's on the bucket list.

         Then one more introspection from diedre Knight:

Black ties and pillbox hats with matching handbags. Delicious aromas wafting from nearly every doorway, Publishers, Symphonies and Art Galleries. Always busy, lots of pomp. :-) But that was long ago.

          So I leave you now with a bit of Manhattan music suggested by Jemima Pett.  Here is the fabulous Manhattan Transfer singing about that legendary Manhattan jazz club Birdland.



     More Manhattan inspired music tomorrow in a new Battle of the Bands presentation.  Be sure to come back and vote on your favorite selection.


         What other artsy Manhattan thoughts that come to your mind?   Have you visited any of the museums in Manhattan?    Have you ever or do you plan on attending the Writer's Digest Annual Conference?   


66 comments:

  1. Manhatten to me Lee, stirs up some wonderful memories, although only there for a short while I can honestly say it was an experience I will never forget.
    Great informative post made great reading.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I've never been there for more than a short while. Maybe someday I'll go to stay a few days and see more sights.

      Lee

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  2. Thanks for the mention. Makes me feel quite Manhattan! I love Manhattan Transfer -Java Jive is floating through my coffee addled brain-pan. One other character, like Woody and Parker and Hepburn that is sooooo Manhattan is the absolutely lovely human, Bill Cunningham. Bill has been photographing street fashion for about 60 years. He is 87 and still rides around the city on his bike working for the New York Times. I regularly listen to his broadcasts on the fashion folk are wearing on the street and not at all because I care about fashion. Nope -just because I love the generous passionate heart of Bill.

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    1. Jan, Manhattan is about people and the city has a lot of talent in its population.

      Lee

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  3. How about the movie The Manhattan Project?
    It does seem a ton of films have been set there. New York has been destroyed by flooding, Godzilla, aliens...

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    1. Alex, you're a step ahead of me. Stay tuned for the letter "N".

      Lee

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  4. I'll be in New York State this weekend, but I think I'll be too far away from Manhattan to visit, unfortunately.

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    1. Jeffrey, I'm sure you'll find some equally interesting opportunities.

      Lee

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  5. I've had so few trips to Manhattan and only for the day so there was no time for museums. I love Greenwich Village though...it's really cool.

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    1. JoJo, I'm the same way. I did go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was a kid, but mostly to visit my mother's cousin who worked there. I don't think we saw much of the museum. I'm not sure how much of Greenwich Village I saw either--I can't remember being there.

      Lee

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  6. I've been to the Met a few times (once for novel research!) but I'd definitely like to check out some other museums. I'm usually caught up in seeing Broadway shows but going to a museum is a great way to spend the day!

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    1. Sarah, I'd really like to have the time to visit some museums in Manhattan. One of them would be the Tenement Museum--I'm intrigued by the concept of tenement living though I'd hate to experience the actual lifestyle.

      Lee

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  7. If ever I tired of gaping in awe at the sights or feeling the bustling pulse of the streets I'd like to see the both the Antique and Children's museum before I meandered down a list of a great many more:-)

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    1. Diedre, so many museums and so little time!

      Lee

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  8. I like Manhattan Transfer and have seen them live once. I'm a fan. I've not seen New York, though. . . And when I was younger I wanted to live in Greenwich Village so I could meet Bob Dylan and others who were appearing in the clubs. . .

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    1. DG, those early days of the Village in the 50's and 60's must have really been something. So much legendary talent to be found.

      Lee

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  9. Thanks for the mention once again, Lee. My Bohemian self would love to hang out in Greenwich Village. It's a legend!

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    1. Debbie, I wonder if the cutting edge stuff is still happening in the Village.

      Lee

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    2. Maybe it's like Toronto's Yorkville now. Yuppie and trendy. Too bad!

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  10. I want to tell you one of the main reasons I stop by you is Cathy from All things Vintage has a list of A2Z Team on each one of her Posts, and I think I shall do it too if you don't mind. Going to Post it so if you do mind please advise. Love your Post. Their a very few things about Manhattan that I know. Like you Sex in the City has shown me a few things, and Manhattan Transfer group I totally love... always did. I just found out it's in Nevada. How close to Las Vegas is it because my mom use to live in Vegas. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day! I'm lovin this years challenge a lot and the theme I've chosen. I may do this next year too!!! I mean the theme... ~hehehe~

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    1. Marie, my thanks to Cathy and by all means feel free to share the Team links if you like. Glad you're enjoying the Challenge this year. I've been enjoying my theme of Manhattan.

      Lee

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  11. Always wanted to go to Manhattan but never made it yet. Would love to visit the Met. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Joy

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    1. Joy, is that the opera house or the art museum? Either one would be nice.

      Lee

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  12. When I think of Manhattan I think of a visit I took with my father in 1967. We went to a "happenin" in the village and I heard "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio for the first time. I also visited The Museum of Modern art. Later, in 1960s I visited my cousin who lived in the East Village. And in 1969 I stayed near Columbia University and worked for a couple of months before returning to Detroit.

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    1. Kristin, funny that your dad took you to a "happenin'". Must have been rather festive and fun. A lot of history back in the 60's.
      Working even for that short of a time gave you some immersion experience I guess.

      Lee

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  13. Manhattan was the first really huge city I have visited. My feet were numb at the end of the day, but my eyes saw amazing stuff.

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    1. Susan, L.A. is pretty big, but downtown seems smaller than Manhattan. L.A. sprawls.

      Lee

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  14. Since I worked at a publishing house when I lived there, books are the FIRST thing I think of when I think Manhattan. Restaurants might be the second thing. One awesome thing about dining in Manhattan is the level of competition. If you don't prepare good food, you don't last long. And that's a fact Jack.

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    1. Robin, publishers and the related parts of the industry as well as restaurants abound. I've had some good food in Manhattan.

      Lee

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  15. Wow. Lots of reading. Very interesting.

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    1. Gregg, small amount of reading compared to what could be written about Manhattan.

      Lee

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  16. I've never been anywhere in Manhattan. I've never been to New York. The farthest north I've made it is Norfolk, VA, and that is still in the South. :)

    I've no plans to attend the Writer's Conference, though I think it would be an interesting adventure.

    I think of two places when I think of artsy New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. The Guggenheim is on my bucket list because of Frank Lloyd Wright. In spite of the fact that the engineering aspect of many of his buildings is seriously flawed, he has always been my favorite modern architect. And, although Falling Water is his most beautiful work all around, I see the Guggenheim as his masterpiece. It is awesome!

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    1. Suzanne, I didn't even think of the Guggenheim though it is quite famous. Another place to add to my future see list.

      Lee

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  17. Thanks so much for the mention Lee! It was nice to read all the other comments about how the very mention of Manhattan affects people. I think you're right: movies give most of us neat vantage points of the City. It has such a complex personality...

    I'm enjoying your series on Manhattan. Thanks again for the shout-out.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, Manhattan is a conversation prompter. Everyone has some kind of opinion or thought about the city.

      Lee

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  18. What came to mind when I saw the word Manhattan was that my gramma drank manhattans. She let me taste it once. That's all I needed. It was awful! Well, the cherry was good.

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    1. Patricia, I'm going to try one of them Manhattans one day. I probably won't dislike it as much as you did, but I doubt whether it would become my favorite drink.

      Lee

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  19. I LOVE Manhattan Transfer!!
    ps i hear food is very good in Manhattan too.
    YOU'VE BEEN FLASH MOBBED #azchat !!

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    1. Pam, oh, flashed mobbed! Manhattan is a great place for that sort of thing.

      Lee

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  20. I lived in Manhattan (Greenwich Village) from 1984-1988. GREAT time! I hope to return someday - rent an apartment for about three months on the upper west side - and experience the city that never sleeps just one more time.

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    1. Cozy, that sounds excellent. I doubt whether I'll ever live in that city, but I might stay for a week or so someday.

      Lee

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  21. I've never had the good fortune to visit Manhattan. Only through film and literature. Hopefully one day I'll get to go!

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  22. I've been to Manhattan a few times. I loved it both times! I stayed six weeks in the Lower East Side after I graduated high school and then again during university and then with my mum. It is such an amazing city!

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    1. Sabrina, you can see a lot of a city in 6 weeks if you set your mind to it.

      Lee

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  23. LOVE Manhattan! Used to live in The Bronx, then Brooklyn, and went to MoMA on their "pay what you will" days and the Met anytime. Always something happening there. And lots of great bookstores, like The Strand!

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    1. Laura, you've made your rounds in NYC. When there for a while you learn the ropes that can help you find the bargains.

      Lee

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  24. Love your blog, Arlee! #azchat

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  25. I think Greenwich Village would be a cool place to visit - OK, all of New York would be!
    Lisa at Tales from the Love Shaque

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    1. Lisa, cool man, yeah daddy-o, the Village is the place. Or so I've heard.

      Lee

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  26. Now I need to go to Manhattan. Thanks for the great post! #azchat

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    1. Robin, I should be organizing a tour through these posts. Thanks for the flash mob visit. Really fun!

      Lee

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  27. Making me want to go for a 90 minute drive to visit my former home again.
    Great post. #FLASHMOB love!
    -J

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    1. J, you're almost there! Not much of an excuse for you not to go now and then. Thanks for the #FLASHMOB visit.

      Lee

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  28. Art and literature definifely is a huge part of Manhattan. Having visited several times and continue to do so, I am amazed at the energy of the arts and culture communities there and in the surrounding boroughs. It is so refreshing to be immersed in and as an artist, I haven't found that kind of energy anywhere else.

    Visiting your blog from the #azchat MOB. Happy Thursday!

    - Nicole

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    1. Nicole, Manhattan is the destination spot of so many in the arts. NYC is the Matrix of the creative mind.

      Yea, Mob!

      Lee

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  29. I, too think of movies! Great post, so fun to read and all the refreshing ideas~ Thanks for visiting me!

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    1. Ella, seems like every day or so I turn on the TV and see some movie or TV show with Manhattan as the setting.

      Lee

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  30. I have only visited Manhattan a few times, even though we lived right next door for a decade. Our family of several small children kept us from experiencing very much of the city life. I hope to return again someday. I do love Manhattan Transfer's Bird Land! Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. Marcy, I know that feeling of not going places with the kids. Now that my kids are grown and gone I know the feeling of not wanting to leave the house much. Geesh!

      Lee

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  31. I really enjoyed visiting Manhattan for the few days I was there. I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters as well as a beautiful museum across from Central Park in an old home...I can't remember the name. I saw Noises Off with Jane Curtin which was quite funny.

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  32. I almost felt as if was there thanks Arlee and for the comments! I've spent a few days in Manhattan and it was an experience never to be forgotten.

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Lee