Thursday, April 21, 2005

Taking me back home

Geitner Simmons has a post on how the entertainment industry in New York relocated to Los Angeles ... and then recreated New York.

“In memory,” he writes, “New York seemed nothing less than the ultimate gathering of a whole continent’s energies into a single place.” Moreover, he argues, the New York émigrés could make “could turn around their disdain for their plush prison, Los Angeles, by making every one of its perceived limitations the impetus for an enhanced New York. … Los Angeles’s horizontal endlessness, for instance, would be avenged by movie New York’s overwhelming verticality.”

The result, in countless films, was the Hollywood depiction of a New York of awesome sophistication and a stupendous architectural personality. This was not a falsification, of course, but an exuberant inflation of the reality.
I wrote to Mr. Simmons that the neighborhood of Los Angeles where I grew up was, in part, a recreation of some of the aristocratic getaways in upstate New York.

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