August 16, 2014


I sat on a plane next to a bunch of older southern gals flying up to NYC to see a bunch of NYC. They were ecstatic about seeing several Broadway shows. Except for Billy Elliot. They singled that out as something they'd never even contemplate seeing. (I assume because of the musical's gay content.) While tourism is important to NYC's economy, there's also a danger in having Manhattan become a tourist trap where clueless visitors from regions of the US who many of us moved here to escape are shaping the content of our entertainment. That's why we see Clay Aiken making guest appearances in Spamalot. Honey, I think I can speak for many New Yorkers when I say that we don't give a crap about Clay Aiken. But he's a draw for the sort of tourists who dumb everything down. New York--not for New Yorkers anymore.

Here's one reason this is affecting not just entertainment, but restaurants. And why our favorite mom & pop restaurants are closing with national chains popping up instead. One would think that tourists with a brain might want to try Ray's Pizza, Gray's Papaya, Magnolia Bakery, Veselka, Veronica's or other local faves, in a town known for it's great food because New Yorkers.

"Chain restaurants were cited as a cause of the closing of local places. “I see no problem in banning chains,” declared Sietsema, citing the ability of zoning to regulate real estate uses. But others pointed out that tourists are attracted to places that are familiar, and chain restaurants are familiar to everyone."