Light Holiday Reading

Let’s get a little cultural for tonight’s countdown to Christmas post with this lovely longform piece by beloved novelist Zadie Smith.

Find Your Beach” – yes, as in those ubiquitous Corona beer ads – was published October 2014 in the New York Review of Books. In it, Smith takes an unusual stance on the oft-covered subject of the gentrification, monetization, alienation, other things ending in ‘-ation’ of Manhattan…in particular, SoHo, long considered a mall for the moneyed with hardly any of the artists responsible for the neighborhood’s initial cachet able to hang on.

And yet, from a rarely vocalized and keenly self-aware standpoint, this renowned writer – in an admittedly advantageous position – is still able to find inspiration in the posh neighborhood, in the island of Manhattan, in New York City’s endlessly aspirational grind.

“You hope,” Smith writes, “there are still young artists in Washington Heights, in the Barrio, or Stuyvesant Town, but how much longer can they hang on?” eventually concluding that, “they are all of them, every single last one of them, in Brooklyn.” Well, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Roosevelt Island, heck, Hoboken, Jersey City…there are worse places to be. As the song goes, if you can make it in NYC – and yes, those all count…

Happy holidays, and read on for the whole essay


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