All my friends who don't live in New York hate New York. Near as I can tell, they imagine the city as one giant, loathsome American Apparel ad, a crass, joyless, narcissistic, careerist, emaciated, insincere, hopelessly uptight, suffocatingly twee cesspool of white-privilege Williamsburg hipsterdom. I'm paraphrasing; they're stereotyping. Mashed into the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House Saturday night, beholding the third and final sold-out performance of Sufjan Stevens's half-hour symphony dedicated to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, with roughly 15,000 musicians crammed onstage unleashing whirling, whimsical dervishes as five vegan-thin dancers cheerfully gyrate with glowing neon hula hoops and three video screens blare arty auto-erotic footage overhead, I revel in what my friends are missing even as I concede their point. Only in New York. This is precious, precious,... More >>>