I love Fran Lebowitz- Love. She is sarcastic and sardonic and right on point and when she is not she is hysterical anyway! If you haven't seen Public Speaking, the Martin Scorsese documentary about her, please do! When I saw she was part of a panel at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature this week in NYC, I jumped at the chance to watch her speak. I had the opportunity to attend the panel where she and Richard Price who is a screenwriter of Color of Money (1986), Life Lessons, author of Lush Life (2008) and Clockers (1992) gave their colorful and critical view of The State of the City: New York Saturday evening.
Lebowitz spoke of her early days as a West Village resident living in a studio without a ceiling and as a child coming to the city to go to The Museum of Modern Art, eating at Angelo's in Little Italy and go to FAO Schwartz which she thought was a museum of toys! Richard was born in the Bronx, spoke fondly of it, said Gramercy was very boring neighborhood to live in and now finds a real home in Harlem. They were asked about changing neighborhoods, gentrification and the evolution of the city and in classic form of wit, they were full of opinions including Fran's distaste for bike culture here in NYC (and please do not ask her if she needs a bag at the grocery store!)
This festival was founded by Salman Rushdie- who also appears on some of the panels this week provides advocacy and funding for writers around the world. This year Cuban and Mexican writers were front and center with writers form over 30 countries. Watch for next year's line-up!