Hey y’all! A belle has entered ArtBLT into The Great 2012 Arts Blogger Challenge, which is trying to find North America’s best arts blogger. We will need YOUR support, your friends support, and even your pet’s support. Voting will begin on March 26 and end on April 20th. Okay, let’s go. You may vote for ArtBLT here.
Our first challenge for this contest is: New York has long been considered the cultural capital of America. Is it still? If not, where?
Here’s what we have to say:
When a hip-hop and symphony loving belle first heard Jay Z & Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” you would have thought we’d thrown our Southern roots to the ground. The infectious song made us remember the streets of New York, the allure of Fifth Avenue and the people hawking stuff to tourists. So, YES! New York is still THE CULTURAL CAPITAL OF AMERICA. Hands down! And here’s why:
New York is replete with sub-cultures. From hip-hop to techno, ballet to flamenco, abstract art to expressionism, Little Italy to Soho, NYC has it, baby!
A musuem loving belle visited the Guggenheim where we viewed Van Gogh and Picasso’s work up close. We hopped around the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we saw works we’d only seen in art books. From a celebration of different cultures: Roman to African, New York has it.
Don’t believe us? We stayed in Flushing, NY which is literally in Queens. The area is predominately Asian, and has a large number of Asian shops. Kanji was everywhere. While walking down the street we saw Indian women dressed in their beautiful colorful garments, and we loved it all.
Dying to do as the locals do, we skipped the infamous yellow cabs and took everything in on foot. We even took the Staten Island Ferry and saw the Statue of Liberty, which signifies New York’s relevance as the cultural capital of America. It is the place where dreams are made of. Jay Z wasn’t lying y’all!
We literally walked over the burial grounds of our ancestors at the African Burial Grounds. It was interesting to see all of the names and ages of those buried underneath this monument (a lot of children), which is a quick jaunt from the hustle and bustle of Wall Street. The monument held the remains of former slaves and is a testament to New York being known as a melting pot.
Never tired, we took in the Soho district and marveled at the fancy wares we couldn’t afford (yet!). I darted in a super cool bookstore in Soho and got my book fix. Later, we hung out in Little Italy where we had some of the best pizza and conversation that money could buy!
It was an adventure within an adventure trying to find New York’s best gelato, which we later discovered in the artsy district of Greenwich Village where artists both new and old come to play.
Harlem, oh Harlem. We can’t forget you. You gave us the Harlem Renaissance that still lives on in vendors selling books on the street. And the Apollo Theater which ushered in black musicians such as the Jackson 5, James Brown and the Fugees is a living monument of this.
More culture? New York is home to some of the most diverse eats and museums. Did we tell you there are fab museums everywhere? We saw everything from large dinosaurs at the Musuem of Natural History, ancient Greek artifacts, priceless artwork, celebs, and more. We even hung out with Rachael Ray–her wax figure that is.
And let’s not forget the warmth of the people in New York, the allure of Restaurant Row, Times Square, and the cheesecake at Junior’s. What is New York without the Brooklyn Bridge and Broadway? To actually walk down this famous street to watch Chicago was a dream within a dream. Yes, we say: New York is not only the cultural capital of the U.S., but the world!
VOTING STARTS NOW! VOTE FOR ArtBLT here!