New York City, cultural center of America, home to Broadway, and setting of some of my favorite pieces of fiction; I hate it.
Okay, hate is a strong word. But it’s mostly true, I hate New York.
I hate the idea that it’s the most important city in the United States, and that it’s regularly called “The greatest city on Earth”. I hate the stuck up attitude that Broadway is the only “real” theatre hub. I hate the obnoxious people that are just part of the city’s “culture”. I hate “Noo Yawk” accents.
And now “hate” is starting to look like a nonsense word. But, again, it’s true, And I’ll tell you why.
There are a million cities in America, (I don’t know the exact number, don’t correct me) and the idea that just one is best is mind boggling. Every city in every state has different things to offer the world. They all have their own culture, and they all have merit. In fact, there might be some with “better” things to offer than New York.
Take my hometown, Sacramento, CA for instance. Here there are a ton of museums, 28 in Sacramento County, and many downtown. There are also several festivals and conventions held downtown year-round. Sacramento is a wealth of culture, and it’s sandwiched right in between Tahoe and San Francisco.
Now, this isn’t just an ad for Sacramento, There are a few other places I’d like to mention.
I’ll start with Seattle, WA. Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks, and home to the largest man made island in America, Harbor Island. It’s also home to the largest symphonic youth organization in the country. There are many museums in the area. Seattle is a hub of arts and culture.
Next up is Houston, Texas. Houston is home to NASA, hence the expression “Houston, we have a problem.”. It also has an excellent theatre district, ranked second in the country (behind, of course, New York City). Its theatre culture is expansive, including Broadway productions and community theatre. Houston has a rich car culture, hosting an annual Art Car Parade, which displays uniquely modified vehicles as works of art. It also has a diverse music scene, with genres from Blues to Tejano.
Finally, there’s Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is home to over 200 art galleries. It also has a lively music culture, showcased by its annual chamber music festival. Along with an expansive cuisine scene, Santa Fe is home to a flourishing nightlife. There are many ways to enjoy Santa Fe’s diverse and rich culture.
So, is New York really the cultural center of America? I think not. Maybe it’s time for fiction to expand its atlas and start seeing life outside of the five boroughs. America is more than the big apple.