New York City’s cultural center: ‘I’m just going to be myself’
The culture hub at the heart of New York’s cultural district is a haven for pop culture.
It’s where you’ll find artists like Drake and Katy Perry and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
But there’s also a place where people can go for an art-filled meal and an evening of conversation, even when the weather is snowing outside.
We spoke to people who’ve had a blast in the cultural hub, and how it’s helped them connect with the city’s many diverse communities.
What was it like when you first came to NYC?
It was super weird.
It was a weird experience for me.
It felt like I was in a different country.
It really was.
The only place I’ve ever been, which is a small town, is outside of New Orleans, and the city itself is not a city at all.
I’m in New York.
But it was very strange.
What do you like to do?
I’m always up for things to do outside of my normal routine.
I can go out and play basketball, and then come back home and watch TV.
I do a lot of TV.
What are your hobbies?
I love to hang out with my friends.
We hang out, and I’m also into movies.
I also like to listen to music, but I like to just be myself.
How did you first get involved with the cultural center?
I actually was coming to New York for the first time, and my mom was helping me move in with my mom.
She had just moved in, so she was like, “Come in and see us.”
So I was like “What?”
It was like three years ago.
When I first came, I was just kind of curious.
I just wanted to see how everything worked.
I got to see the community, and it was awesome.
But I also went to a lot more places.
And now I’m like, I’m going to New Orleans.
What’s your favorite part of NYC?
It seems like there’s this weird thing in New Orleans that I just like to get into.
It feels like there are a lot going on there.
It kind of feels like a different city.
It has a little bit more life and energy.
The people here, and especially the older folks, are really nice.
They’re really down-to-earth.
There’s just a lot to look at and see.
I’ve had people ask me if I like being in New Mexico, and when I said, “No, no, no,” they were like, Oh my God.
I think New York is one of the places I’ve felt the most community-based, and this has been one of my favorite places to come out.
Do you have any specific memories from New York?
It feels very, very much like a place I grew up in, and that’s a really cool thing.
I had an amazing time here.
I would say New York, especially in New Jersey, is where I grew into my identity.
I love New Jersey.
When you were younger, you were probably not able to afford New York because of the cost of living.
I grew to love it.
So I definitely wanted to come here and see it.
I still do.
What kind of food do you usually go out to?
I really like to go out with people.
I don’t have a lot.
I usually go with my husband.
What kinds of food are you into?
I do really fancy pasta, like, fancy Italian.
And I like cheesecake.
What did you have to drink in NYC when you were growing up?
I had one of those old-fashioned white wine glasses.
But, yeah, I also had a lot—like a ton of beer.
I guess I would drink a lot in New England, I would like to.
What does the word “cultural” mean to you?
It’s a great word, and in New Yorkers’ culture, it’s a very specific kind of culture.
I definitely try to embrace what that means to me.
When we were growing in New Hampshire, we would go out for pizza.
That was a big part of our culture, going out for pizzas and eating pizza.
Do people often say things like, you know, cultural, because of your accent?
I always tell people to be cultural.
I mean, I have a big accent, and people have a good point.
But when I say “cultural,” I mean it in a good way.
How do you feel about the new Mayor?
It sounds like he’s trying to do something different, but he’s really pushing back on the old mayor’s legacy.
He’s trying a different style.
And that’s good.
I have so many memories of growing up in New Hampshirites.
I lived in the community for a long time, so I’ve lived in some of the neighborhoods.
I remember the first year, I got