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Showing posts from October, 2014

Life in New York City

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Language
The official language of New York is English, but you’d never know it.  Spanish is everywhere, even in subway advertisements.  (I pick up a lot of Spanish from reading ads on boring subway rides.)  We also hear Cantonese, Korean, Arabic, German, Japanese, Wolof and just about any other language that is spoken anywhere by more than 10 people.  Was that Maori that I heard those two people speaking on the bus the other day?  I don’t know.  The next time I meet a Maori speaker, I’ll ask.
The “F” word gets dropped a lot here.  True, it is not unknown in other places.  The difference is that we hear it so much we’re used to it.  It’s background noise.  It is a versatile word, which can be used to express:
Anger (“I’m talkin’ to YOU, F***face!”) Frustration (“Oh f***!  Not again!”) Surprise (“What the f*** was that?!”) Fear (“Let’s get the f*** out of here!”) Disgust (“Ack!  F*****g gross!”) Admiration (“He is so f*****g gorgeous!”)
Sometimes people substitute other words, like “freaking” or…

Life in New York City

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New York has a bad reputation, much of it undeserved.  In movies, television and newspapers New York is always dirty, crime-filled, blight-ridden and dangerous.  (“There are 8 million stories in The Naked City … .”?  Talk about lousy public relations!)  Actually, it’s a nice place to live, if you don’t mind the expense.  We pay for the privilege of living here – a lot.  But, in spite of what you see on Law and Order, we don’t stumble over gruesome murder victims every time we step outside.  Most of us never see a murder victim even once in our entire lives.  Really.  It’s true.
I have lived here for over thirty years.  Most of that time I lived in Brooklyn.  For the last several years The Bronx has been my home.  I only lived in Manhattan for a couple of months, but I’ve been working there for over 30 years, not to mention all the performances I have sung and attended there and all the friends I have who live there.  I know Manhattan better than I know either Brooklyn or The Bronx, whi…