Few cities adapt as well to artistic environments as New York. It is the golden dream of any artist, regardless of their discipline. If something is trending, it is because it has emerged in New York.
Painters, writers, directors, and of course, musicians. The streets of this American city provide inspiration for many talented people. How many songs refer to the jungle of glass and steel?
Whether for its curious geographical location, for its buildings, rhythm of life or cultural legacy; it is clear that New York provokes the most beautiful verses. It is not uncommon to cross authentic cultural legends, living your daily life.
In this guide we will try to match the music with some locations in the city. It has been the scene of video clips, eyewitness to the most glorious and decadent moments of many artists. It is worth strolling through its streets and discovering to understand what happened and continues to happen at certain moments in recent history.
David Bowie was Here
Although it has always been related to his hometown, London, the white duke spent his last days in New York, exactly at 285 Lafayette Street, in Manhattan. It was not unreasonable to see him stroll through the streets of Soho, gossiping books in Strand, one of those places whose permanence is scarce.
He himself said a phrase that very well represents his feeling towards the city – I realized the other day that I’ve lived in New York longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. It’s amazing: I am a New Yorker. It’s strange; I never thought I would be.-.
Another of his fetish places was always the wonderful park of Washington Square Garden, where the mythical fifth avenue starts. And of course, the long nights in Studio 54, totally disappeared.
Unfortunately, Bowie’s legacy in the city is more moral than physical. Of course, if you cross New Jersey, you can see one of the most impressive murals by Brazilian Eduardo Kobra.
A good option is the tour that is organized and that helps to understand Bowie’s love for the capital of the world.
Debbie Harry and the CBGB
If there was one place that could be almost the same legend as Studio 54, it was the CBGB. Absolutely different, it was a unique space on the Lower East Side, one of the most creative neighborhoods in Manhattan.
And one of the bands that lived part of his career, on those four walls, was Blondie. Debbie Harry is and will always be a rock icon, an incredible force made woman. And for this reason, it closed the last night of the mythical club, in 2006, with the controversial law that made it close a multitude of bars in the area to revalue it.
And where there were nights of wildness and rock there is now a beautiful mural dedicated to the singer and created by artist Shepard Fairey. This artist saw his success culminate with the popular poster of Barack Obama in the 2008 elections in which he put the word “Hope“.
Now, the place is occupied by a store, which does not mean that it does not continue to be a place of pilgrimage.
Ryan Adams: Lonely Man in New York
The Jacksonville artist currently resides in Los Angeles but like all damn good poet, he lived in Manhattan. He partly blamed the city for his addictions and perversions but it was also his most splendid time in terms of creativity. His first albums were written through personal experiences in the big city. What’s more, the New York Times was the first to speak of the scandal that surrounded him in 2019 over a possible relationship with a minor through the Internet in addition to the alleged psychological abuse of many women. It seems that even his present ghosts fly low on behalf of this city.
One of the places he still frequents, despite having his own studio near Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, is Electric Lady Studios. Located at 52 W 8th St, they were founded by Jimi Hendrix in the 1970s.
And not far away, he resided, in the beautiful East Village. A unique space, full of bohemian air but also of temptations.
It was a hard time for Ryan, alcohol and drugs were a constant in his day to day and it was easy to see him at Niagara, one of the bars in the area. Without a doubt, the biography of The Strokes called Meet me in the bathroom mentions him as a regular of the New York night.
Many of his songs speak of his relationship with New York: My Blue Manhattan, New York New York or Cobwebs are some examples where you can see streets and places graphically represented. Today it does not seem that he will return except to record, but there will always be an imprint of his.
The Club of 27 Painted in New York
In such a select and global club it is difficult to locate it in a region but possibly it has one of the most spectacular murals in New York City, once again by the hand of the wonderful urban artist Eduardo Kobra.
Located at 46 Rivington St, New York, it is one of the most wonderful corners of the Lower East Side. Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and a few others appear in full color with their best faces on the wall.
And we are joined by a passion for music and for one of the most restless cities on the globe. And in these times of instability and madness, what less than to liven up the reading to the rhythm of songs that once dedicated their lyrics to New York City.
There are many corners that the city offers to relive stories, see things with the eyes of admirable and admired artists. Walk its streets, sit down to have a drink. Be someone else for a second.
New York is everyone’s city, and for everyone. Now all that remains is to find your place in it, to live it with the same passion that others did.
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