New York map photos

From New Zealand: Scheduled flights leave daily for New York from Auckland via Los Angeles. Excursion fares for 14- to 28-day stays allow intermediate stops. EPIC fares, without stop-overs, are good for stays of 21 to 60 days.

From South Africa: Daily scheduled flights are available from Johannesburg. Package deals and excursion fares are also offered.
Cultural Strategies for Urban Renewal

Culturally-led urban regeneration became the norm, spurred on by a small number of cases in which an upturn in a city’s image and economy was achieved. Examples such as Glasgow and Barcelona presented models which other city authorities might copy. But, inevitably, outcomes were as mixed as the conditions in which interventions were made, with differing levels of resource. Nonetheless, faced with de-industrialization from the 1980s onwards, city after city sought a place on a global culture-map. New York sociologist Sharon Zukin remarked in 1995 that every well-designed downtown has a nearby artists’ quarter’ (Zukin 1995: 22). It usually had a mall as well, and waterfront apartments in converted warehouses. Typically, remodelled urban centres house sites of immaterial production for the global economy – in advertising, public relations, fashion, digital communications, the media and financial services – and the gated compounds and consumption outlets where employees of the creative economy live and spend their leisure time. The young professional elite tended to identify itself with, and by, contemporary culture. Hence the designer bars and restaurants, boutiques and shops marketing things which no-one needs but many might be persuaded to want – like white-painted bird cages imported from Morocco (Raban 1974: 95) – tend to be located in zones which have been re-coded by the insertion of a cultural institution, or designation of a cultural quarter.

For Richard Florida, young professionals constitute a creative class whose presence is a key factor in urban renewal (Florida 2002). Florida’s definition of the creative class aligns with the use of creativity in business and financial innovation, not with cultural production. Artists are not necessarily members of it. Florida writes that, for him, creative centres are large urban centres such as San Francisco, Seattle or Boston which have high levels of innovation and high-tech industry and very high levels of diversity, but lower than average levels of social capital and moderate levels of political involvement’. He adds, These cities score high on my Creativity index and are repeatedly identified . as desirable places to live and work. That’s why I see them as representing the new creative mainstream’ (Florida 2002: 275).

Florida’s approach is based on the presence of a consuming elite. Sociologist Graeme Evans takes a more orthodox view by defining not a creative class but a creative or cultural sector of employment which comprises three elements: cultural production from music to blogs and digital media; cultural tourism; and cultural amenities such as galleries (Evans 2001). Within the cultural sector, the borders between high and low culture, and between art and other creative fields such as fashion, design, architecture and new media, have been more or less dismantled. Franco Bianchini and Charles Landry adopt an approach between Florida’s definition of a class and Evans’ definitions of a sector, identifying creativity, as innovation, with the prevailing (or perceived) mindset of the creative sector. They write of creativity as getting rid of rigid perceptions and of opening ourselves up to complex phenomena which cannot always be dealt with in a strictly logical manner’ (Landry and Bianchini 1995: 10). This is not necessarily, however, an alignment with a mainstream but can equally indicate innovation in small enterprises or in the informal economy. The growth of new music scenes illustrates how, with modest means, by using word of mouth or social-media dissemination, informal networks operate, so to speak, under the radar of established industries. Such efforts are small-scale and localized, but this adds to their resistant character in the face of a dominant, globalized industry. In contrast, Florida sees little if any political content in the arts:

As for the feat that mass marketing kills the artists’ political message: Reports of that death have been greatly exaggerated. Few cultural products have much political content to begin with. Many cultural theorists like to see cultural forms such as graffiti art and rap as political movements expressing the voices of the oppressed. This absurd notion does a disservice to both politics and art.

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