New York City Culture
The people of New York City, New Yorkers, share a unique culture rooted in centuries of immigration and city life. There is considerable diversity in this local culture, varying by ethnic group, social class, and neighborhood.
New York is an important global hub for music, film, theater, dance and visual art. Important cultural movements have long been part of the city's history. The Harlem Renaissance established the African-American literary cannon in the United States. The New York School of painters, which developed abstract expressionism in the post-World War II period, became the first truly original school of painting in America. Bob Dylan came to national prominence in the folk music scene of Greenwich Village in the 1960s. The earliest sounds of "punk rock" and "new wave" styles of music were first heard in Lower Manhattan clubs in the 1970s. Hip-hop first emerged in the Bronx in the 1980s.
To some observers, New York, with its large immigrant population, is more a quintessentially cosmopolitan, global city than something specifically "American". But to others, the city's very openness to newcomers makes it an archetypal city in a "nation of immigrants". Among American cities only Los Angeles receives more immigrants, but immigration to New York is far more diverse; the city government maintains translators in 180 languages. The term "melting pot" was first coined to describe Manhattan's densely populated Lower East Side.
Many of the largest city-wide annual events are parades celebrating the heritage of New York's ethnic communities. Attendance at the biggest ones by city and state politicians is politically obligatory. These include the St Patrick's Day Parade, probably the top Irish heritage parade in the Americas, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which often draws up to 3 million spectators, the African-American Caribbean Labor Day Parade, among the largest parades in North America, and the Chinese New Year Parade. New Yorkers of all stripes gather together for these spectacles. Other significant parades include the Gay Pride Parade, Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, all icons in the city's counter-culture pantheon.
Everyday life for New Yorkers is often compared to that of urban Western Europeans. The "car culture" that dominates most of the United States is displaced by New York's overwhelming use of public transit. Many New Yorkers live in compact rental apartments, not sprawling suburbs. The city's food culture, influenced by its immigrants and vast number of demanding dining patrons, is complex. For many Americans, notions of urbanity and sophistication are shaped by trends in New York.
There are many stereotypes about "The City That Never Sleeps." The American idiom "in a New York minute" means "immediately." The "hard-boiled New Yorker" is tough, rude, and impatient, and takes pride in the crowds, noise, and hardships of city life and often writes off other cities as "not real cities". But life in New York, though a bit neurotic, is essentially normal, filled with feeling, caring people whose reality is hardly reflected in old myths about urbanism that go back to stories of Babylon