Wham BAM, Thank You Ma’am.

This past weekend I heard Fran Lebowitz converse with Martin Scorsese over at BAM. Fran did all the conversing, really—Marty just sat there and cackled for the most part! He did answer a few questions at the end, however; I recall an interesting one about how he integrates his soundtrack choices into his filming process. He often has music in mind before filming, although there’s room for leeway in the editing phase.

Fran was in top form, garrulous and eviscerating yet deeply thoughtful regarding the changes that have taken place in NYC during her lifetime. Highlights included approval for Mayor Bill de Blasio (she hasn’t heard the word “tourist” come out of his mouth yet), disdain for the pedestrian plazas in Times Square (“Planters, lawn chairs, trinkets…New York looks like my grandmother’s living room. I expect to find glass dishes filled with sour candies!”) and telling NYU students when they whine about $60K annual tuition that thanks to them, New Yorkers who make $60K/year can’t afford to live in the Village anymore—so if they get an education AND an apartment in the Village for that amount, they have NO reason to complain!

Perhaps a less popular point of view (although one that I sympathize with) was Fran’s insistence that NYC’s smoking bans have little to do with actual data concerning the dangers of secondhand smoke and more to do with the bullshit neo-puritan mindset of the Bloomberg administration. I’ve often wished there were both smoking and non-smoking bars so people could have a choice. That being said, so far de Blasio intends to keep the bans in place.



  1. Good ol’ BAM, miss that place (& going there with YOU!). Especially like the point about some of the myriad ways NYC has become totally unaffordable for average folks.

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