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Leaving Such Great Heights: The Arts & Culture Manifesto

Welcome to Arts & Culture!

Let us safely assume that you have watched a movie before. Let’s make an educated guess that you listened to a record or the radio prior to arriving here. Though decreasing numbers of Western society are doing so, we will grant that you’ve read a book sometime in your life before coming to Yeshiva. Well, taken those hypotheses as fact, let us be the first to say: Greetings! And welcome to the absolute center of Culture as we know it. We, the editors of the Arts & Culture section of The Yeshiva University Commentator, are pleased to be your guides to the maelstrom of light, dark, and the million points in between of this naked city. We intend here to cover all manner of events and trends in the musical, literary, dramatic, and film worlds, and points beyond. We’re here to cure your never-leaving-the-heights-syndrome, to open up a visual culture beyond this year’s nowhere but here posters. To help you out, we’ll cultivate a calendar of handpicked cultural events that we find compelling, to give you a tiny but broad picture of what’s going on about town. And we’ll make sure some of them are free so you don’t kill your wallet. In short, we are here to help get you started carving out a cultural life for yourself in this city beyond the halls of Yeshiva University.

Now here’s the thing. You owe it to yourself to do this. You are young, optimally located, and, as often as not, many thousands of miles away from authority, or even just a river away, but really, do you think they’ll swim across to get you? This is the time to drink in all the riches of being young in the greatest metropolis in the world. To that end, we exhort you, with all our hearts: GET OUT THERE. Whether this is your first semester, or you’re a super senior, Check. It. Out. Take the subway, the bus, or, even better, walk. We live in one of the most walk-able cities in the world. Walk to the tip of Manhattan, to the Upper West Side, or if you’re feeling lazy, just to the Cloisters.  Hop on the 1 train and do not get off until you’re at least 21 stops down and Soho and Noho are history. Exit, and dive in. Find the café that over stimulates you with caffeine and epiphany. Seek out the club with 5 bands for 5 dollars on the bill, and save yourself the money for when one of them plays Giants Stadium in 3 years. Discover the small pockets of culture before they burst and become mainstream. Stumble into the jazz bar in the West Village that reminds you why stiff-necked people hated this stuff in the 50’s. Take a ferry to Brooklyn, subway to the Acheron and Public Assembly, and learn the hard way why people put on earplugs during concerts. At your fingertips: art classes in Williamsburg, thrift stores in Flatiron, and outdoor parks and galleries in Chelsea. Craving introspection? Spend a day at the MET when the Impressionists are calling and you can’t afford MoMA.

[caption id="attachment_1105" align="alignnone" width="300"] Shoppers browse The Strand’s sale racks in front of a mural or graffiti, depending on how you look at it.[/caption]

We haven’t even gotten to the Film Forum, the IFC Center, Broadway, and Off-Broadway. Think about that, we forgot to talk about BROADWAY. Now you see what we’re dealing with. The cultural experiences are waiting for you; seek them out. Make this year about enjoying the arts in a way that enhances your academic life. Spend time living in college, and by that we don’t mean camping out in the library.

We’d love to hear what you find. As always, feel free to write on your discoveries in these pages, because that’s what we’re here for. This is the place for your expression about expression. Now go forth, because although the last shuttle may be at 2AM, your night and year are just beginning.

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