Sky Crabtree is a rising sophomore and journalism student at Stony Brook University. When he expressed interest in writing for the Rag, we randomly asked him to write 600 words about his “favorite place on the Upper West Side.”
And a column was born.
By Sky Crabtree
Lincoln Center is without a doubt my favorite place on the Upper West Side.
I have always enjoyed the performing arts, even more so considering my personal connections to them. My grandfather played the cello in the New York Philharmonic decades ago, and both my parents were classical ballet dancers before they moved into teaching their art form at Ballet Academy East in Manhattan. I trained in classical ballet for nine years, before going to college and turning to journalism.
Growing up on the Upper West Side, I would pass by Lincoln Center every weekday morning with my family on our way to my brothers’ and my school. My father would sometimes remark that The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts contained photographs of him when he was a dancer at the New York City Ballet. I found it fascinating, both, that my father’s time in the performing arts was documented, and that an institution to record the happenings of the performing arts even existed in the first place. How cool is that, to have an entire library dedicated to the performing arts?
The architectural beauty of Lincoln Center also can’t be overlooked. Iconic structures, such as the Metropolitan Opera House and Avery Fisher Hall, add much to the overall feeling of grandeur. The buildings blend in perfectly with the surrounding green spaces and fountains. In particular, the main plaza and the fountain at the center of it are always a joy to visit, as I find the stunning nature of the setting to be reflective of the grand nature of the performances that take place there every year.
Of course, the shows hosted by the different theaters are a joy to watch. Lincoln Center attracts hundreds of performances a year. This is another reason I consider Lincoln Center to be my personal favorite place on the UWS: The sheer abundance of shows ensures that something new and exciting is always being offered. It is designed for all of the performing arts. In addition, Lincoln Center showcases numerous films throughout the year and hosts the annual New York Film Festival.
I’d like to point out that the center doesn’t only hold performances for those able to purchase more expensive tickets, but also puts on free and low-cost events for New Yorkers throughout the summer. As I researched this article, I found myself appreciating the wide array of free offerings Lincoln Center makes accessible through its Summer For The City program, which starts June 14 and runs through August 12. This helps balance the more exclusive nature of some of the shows, and makes the performing arts truly accessible to the general public.
What’s your favorite place on the Upper West Side? Tell us where and why in 600 words or less and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include photos.