I Happen To Like New York

These days when I find myself driving or riding a train into my hometown, I'm overwhelmed by the urge to break into song and I remember the heart-melting opening scene of one of my favorite Woody Allen films.

Being born and raised in New York guarantees a few things:
  1. You will have a loud nasal voice that cuts immediately through everyone else in the room.
  2. You will always root for the Yankees but secretly you hold a special place in your heart for the Mets.
  3. Everywhere else on earth you travel to will never have decent bagels, pizza or Chinese food.
  4. You walk with undeniable swagger.
  5. The stench of hot baked urine soaked sidewalks in August will bring back warm memories.
  6. You either love or at least have an appreciation for Woody Allen.
Woody is a man unaffected by time or criticism. He does what he does and he remains largely unaffected by the concerns of others. He makes his movies, brings his characters to life, releases his films, and keeps moving.

This constant motion prevents him from having a dead shark on his hands.

I have seen every single film Woody Allen has ever made, even the most obscure and wildly unpopular ones. I even cry openly during the beginning of Manhattan. When I saw Manhattan Murder Mystery in the theater for the second time, every single person sang loudly along with Cole Porter to "I Happen To Like New York." I guffaw so loudly during parts of Annie Hall and Broadway Danny Rose that people have "shushed" me. I can't get over the genius of the line "A strange man defecated on my sister" nor can I fathom the brilliance behind a plot as beautifully subversive as Crimes And Misdemeanors.

There are many people who have written him off because of the shenanigans of his personal life at times eclipsed the importance of his work, and his recent films seem to lack some of the punch of his older ones, but this is a filmmaker of great importance and mind-blowing output.

Nearly a film a year for the last forty-five years.

I'll miss him once he's gone.

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