Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Ol’ Blue Eyes would have been 92 today and, as a present, the USPS is giving him his own stamp. Listening to his “New York, New York” as a child was one of the things that first made me want to move to Manhattan. Of course, there have been a million renditions of that song, but the most moving use of it was a PSA for Coalition of the Homeless which won every award there was in 1993. Peter Cohen, founder of Street Smart Advertising, and Lesley Sweet spent weeks on the streets of Manhattan filming homeless New Yorkers breaking into the song. In the voices of people living on the streets, the lyrics take on poignancy unattained even by the Crooner himself. Then, the screen goes black and the last refrain is a silent super: “It’s up to you New York, New York.” Sorry I can’t find a copy to post. It’s nowhere in cyberspace.