The next voice you hear will still be mine; but it will come to you from the metropolis. Tomorrow morning, I am leaving Wales (my man and Montague, the latter, being more compact, pictured in my arm). After a stopover in Manchester, England, it’s off to New York City, my former home of fifteen years. Last time I was there, I found myself in the middle of an old-time radio serial (I Love a Mystery), the keeping up with which turned out to be somewhat of a chore, appreciated by too few. I also did not enjoy wireless access and was piggybacking wherever I could, a haphazard signal chasing that complicated the webjournalistic experience. This time around I will suspend all regular programming and write instead about popular culture in relation to Gotham. I am planning to visit and report from various New York City locations where radio drama was produced, is being presented these days, or has been set. I’ll also conduct tours of second-hand bookstores, cultural sites that are fast becoming extinct in the corporately co-opted rental space for advertising opportunities that is today’s cityscape. In short, it will be an old-time radio travelogue.
I might also write about any play or movie I get to see while in town. Unfortunately, the Film Forum has decided upon a retrospective of swashbucklers, as well as a series of Buster Keaton features. Since I don’t care much about either (and went to see Keaton’s The General only a few weeks ago, with silent film music composer Neil Brand at the piano), I don’t think I’ll spend much time at the local movie houses, most of which play the fare that you get to see anywhere else in the western world or the non-hostile elsewhere. I’ll stack up on a few good DVDs while there, snatching whatever bargain I can get my hands on.
I might also flick through the US channels I miss here in the UK, such as the Independent Film Channel, Sundance, and Turner Classic Movies, which has scheduled a Carole Lombard day on August 17, and catch up on some of the television series I’ve read about on the web journals I regularly peruse. I might also take in a few Broadway or Off-Broadway shows. Whatever comes my way or catches my eye, you’ll read about it here.
So, to borrow from Archibald MacLeish’s “The Fall of the City” (previously discussed here), the next “broadcast comes to you from the city,” technology and the general vagaries of life permitting. I hope you’ll tune in.