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Old 09-30-2020, 10:04 AM
 
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I always heard this phrase. However, it’s just marketing. The times I have been in NYC (pre-Covid) the city is not that vibrant as people make it. Apart from some tourists in Times Square, the rest of NYC was dead after certain time. This is not the case with Bangkok or Berlin. In both cities lots of things are happening, in fact people go out super late. Same in Buenos Aires. I remember lining up at a club at 4am in Berlin. I also remember taking a motorbike with my friend to explore Bangkok very late at night. Am I wrong about NYC? What other cities are fully 24 hours? I have heard that Hong Kong is another 24 hours city.
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:01 AM
 
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I believe that phrase is in reference to crime which usually happens at night. Back then when there were no cameras around, and street lights were slow to be repaired, and not very bright LED lights, getting away with crime easier at night.

Its also easier to spot the cops at night. They are the only ones driving around. Have nothing to blend in with.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
17,916 posts, read 24,353,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usuariodeldia View Post
I always heard this phrase. However, it’s just marketing. The times I have been in NYC (pre-Covid) the city is not that vibrant as people make it. Apart from some tourists in Times Square, the rest of NYC was dead after certain time. This is not the case with Bangkok or Berlin. In both cities lots of things are happening, in fact people go out super late. Same in Buenos Aires. I remember lining up at a club at 4am in Berlin. I also remember taking a motorbike with my friend to explore Bangkok very late at night. Am I wrong about NYC? What other cities are fully 24 hours? I have heard that Hong Kong is another 24 hours city.
I learned about the origin of this expression on a walking tour of Lower Manhattan

The expression comes from the turn of the 20th century (1890s?) when some NYC neighborhoods, notably the Bowery, if I recall correctly, were among the first in the country to be lit throughout the night with electric lamps, as even gas lamps were turned off and not widespread. This led to an early "nightlife" with entertainment activities taking place well into the dark hours of the night.

I think that the moniker stuck because New York City, at least certain neighborhoods, was a cutting edge entertainment capital that was not really matched or exceeded until well after WWII. But in the last 40-50 years, plenty of other cities around the world have developed a comparative nightlife, or exceeded it, especially since the 1960s-'80s.

And importantly, by comparison, New York City itself has toned down and become much more mellow, a process that in my opinion began almost 20 years ago, particularly after 9/11 when a concerted effort was made to make New York City's entertainment districts more family friendly and family focused.

Part of this has to do with the fact that NYC's demographics have changed. It used to be a place where young people from around the country and the world would come to make a life in creative arts, in finance, business, etc.. This energy fueled by cheap rent, big salaries, lots of drugs and a much more permisssive and much less prudish mentality than one finds in America today, was the foundation of the nighlife scene.

Now "starving" artists and musicians cannot afford to live in NYC (without trust funds or onerous stuggle), and young people trying to make it in business work longer and harder for less buying/renting power. They don't have the time or money to party late into the night like they did in the 70s and 80s.

In short, the superlative quality of late night options in New York City was introduced over 100 years ago, and peaked around 40 years ago. To hold it to the same standard today makes no sense. It is like calling Vienna the music capital of the world. True at one time, and still historically notable, but not today.



EDIT: I did some googling and came up with the following:

1892, The Century, Volume 43:

A tour of this street by night is a never-to-be-forgotten experience, but in the main the street is like a great electric lantern. It is the Argus head of New York and it is the eye that never sleeps; for when the rest of the town is dim and its bustle is all but hushed, the eye of the Bowery look into the night with a gleaming star that only the rising of the suns is able to intimidate.

[This references the seeing eye of the Argus, but in concert with the description of the well lit streets by means of electric lights, might lead into the development of 'The City that Never Sleeps' -ABQConvict]

From The Bowery: A History of Grit, Graft and Grandeur, By Eric Ferrara:

…the Bowery was ripe for wanton corruption (perfected over decades) and had openly become one of the greatest vice districts in America. It was the original “city that never sleeps,” the Times Square of its day…


[This attrribution of the nickname recent, but the description here may be the connection between the Bowery's reputation for nightlife and criminal vice -ABQConvict]

Last edited by ABQConvict; 09-30-2020 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:20 PM
 
Location: In the heights
37,135 posts, read 39,394,719 times
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I'd put Taipei up there. It's not just nightlife as it's not a massive nightlife hub, but there is still quite a bit of nightlife. It's also a lot of street vendors. It's got a lot of 24 hour options for sundry things like bookstores / manga libraries, convenience stores (and there are a lot of convenience stores and these do a lot of things one doesn't expect convenience stores to do elsewhere), and eateries. The city itself is very walkable and taxis are cheap. There's also a large early morning shift, like very early morning, of elderly people exercising and places opening for the early birds which sometimes overlaps with the late night crowd.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:33 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
In short, the superlative quality of late night options in New York City was introduced over 100 years ago, and peaked around 40 years ago.
New York City was a crime-ridden, drug-infested dump in 1980. It is much safer and classier now (at least prior to COVID-19).
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
17,916 posts, read 24,353,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
New York City was a crime-ridden, drug-infested dump in 1980. It is much safer and classier now (at least prior to COVID-19).
In 1980 it was a crime ridden, drug infested dump with one of the hottest nightlife, music, and club scenes in the world.

Today it is absolutely safer and classier. And pretty much 90% of it closes down after 10pm.

That's the topic.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:49 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
5,480 posts, read 3,923,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
In 1980 it was a crime ridden, drug infested dump with one of the hottest nightlife, music, and club scenes in the world.

Today it is absolutely safer and classier. And pretty much 90% of it closes down after 10pm.

That's the topic.
Sure do wish I could've lived a day in 1980 NYC.
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:16 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,560 posts, read 28,659,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
In 1980 it was a crime ridden, drug infested dump with one of the hottest nightlife, music, and club scenes in the world.

Today it is absolutely safer and classier. And pretty much 90% of it closes down after 10pm.

That's the topic.
I guess you can go to Bangkok to get a taste of what 1980s New York City was like.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:35 AM
Status: "“If a thing loves, it is infinite.”" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Great Britain
27,163 posts, read 13,455,286 times
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I don't think NYC was ever the most 24 hour city in the world, however most people even in cities want a good work and sleep ratio.

The New York subway being 24 hours was an advantage for NYC, although other cities have become much more 24 hour in terms of transport.

Buenos Aires was ranked very highly (top ten) in a 24 hour study study reported on by the BBC in 2012, with NYC being placed 32nd.

It's also worth noting that countries such as Spain operate in a different time zone that is not dependent on the sun and daylight hours.

BBC - Travel - The real reason why Spaniards eat late

Alcohol consumption is also a factor in relation to western cities, with a late night drinking and food outlets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC (2012)

In a 2011 study of the world’s 24-hour cities, Cairo was ranked the “most 24-hour” of all. Just behind Egypt’s capital came Montevideo, Beirut, six Spanish cities (Malaga, Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville) and Buenos Aires. London was ranked 17th, Paris 18th and New York 32nd.

BBC - Travel - The cities that never sleep


Last edited by Brave New World; 10-01-2020 at 03:50 AM..
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,876 posts, read 38,026,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I believe that phrase is in reference to crime which usually happens at night. Back then when there were no cameras around, and street lights were slow to be repaired, and not very bright LED lights, getting away with crime easier at night.

Its also easier to spot the cops at night. They are the only ones driving around. Have nothing to blend in with.
I have known the phrase most of my life and have never associated it with crime.
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