Before I moved here, I’m not sure I ever noticed how many TV shows and movies take place in–or at least feature–NYC. From contemporary faves like Glee (okay that’s pretty much the only TV show I watch) to classic movies like Annie Hall, Chasing Amy, When Harry Met Sally…it always just feels a little different to see places that I visit on a weekly basis as part of the iconic “City”. It’s all a bit of a fantasy (grubby streets seem pristine, nightly cocktails are affordable to freelance writers, virtually no homeless people, etc), which is to be expected because, duh, it’s film/tv. And that’s cool with me, because if any City gets to be the iconic space of a country’s imagination and big dreams, it’s sorta cool that it’s the City I live in. And in the end it only makes the actually realistic portrayals of NYC that much more beautiful.
And that’s where “Goodbye To All That“–Joan Didion’s 1967 essay about her time in NYC during the late 1950s/early 60s–comes in. It’s one of the most frank, touching tales of being in (and out) of love with NYC I’ve ever read; and no matter what state my relationship with NYC is in, it resonates with me. I just wanted to share it with all of you because I love it so! Enjoy!