Is New York Worthy of Cultural Top Billing?

We learned earlier this week that New York deserves to be called the world's most economically powerful city. On Monday night, four cultural critics discussed whether the city should be considered the world's cultural capital as well.
May 11, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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With New York's economic relevance firmly established, Jennifer Schuessler reports on a recent event held at the Public Theater this past week to discuss the city's cultural relevance. On hand were four cultural critics from New York magazine, who each opined on whether the city deserves to be called the cultural capital of America, let alone the world.

"'No,' said Jerry Saltz, the magazine's art critic. 'It's one of several,' said Amy Larocca, its fashion editor. Kurt Andersen, a longtime contributor to the magazine and host of the radio show 'Studio 360,' was less equivocal, but only barely. 'Sure,' he said, but not as much as New York was in, say, 1960. 'Now there are more alternatives,' he said."

"Justin Davidson, New York's architecture and classical music critic, also noted that the city's vitality did not stem entirely from the creative classes. 'Artists are just among the many people who come here," he said. "If you look at a place like Times Square, it might look like the interesting edges are gone, but it's still a magnet for the world, drawing all sorts of people internationally. The greatness of the city is in its unevenness.'"

 

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Published on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in The New York Times
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