Bloomberg may have finally fostered a true cultural movement, the New York break-up letter. Following David Byrne’s bleak essay on New York as a place that doesn’t support its artists, and a wave of romantic goodbyes from writers and journalists, Moby has announced on Creative Time Reports that he has left the city for Los Angeles.
During the 1990s, thanks to the cessation of the crack epidemic, New York became increasingly safer and more affluent, and less artist-friendly, but it was still the place I wanted to call home. What happened next reminded me of Gremlins: you’re not supposed to feed the gremlins after midnight or they metastasize. Gremlin midnight came to New York sometime in the mid-‘90s. I realized then that most people I met in New York were happily observing and talking about culture, but not necessarily contributing to it. It seemed New York had entered the pantheon of big cities that people visit and observe and patronize and document, but don’t actually add to, like Paris. No one goes to Paris imagining how they can contribute to the city. People go to Paris thinking, “Wow, I want to get my picture taken with Paris in the background.” That’s what New York became, a victim of its own photogenic beauty and success.
Instead New York has Jay Z-gone-Chelsea, a Dunham-ified Greenpoint, and an East Village scene packaged and sold in the form of Basquiat retrospectives. Only people who mindlessly take what they’re given would want to claim that.