As a reporter for the New York Times, Sarah Maslin Nir has made a career out of talking about the city, and one thing is clear: Nobody agrees on what’s best for what she calls our “unbelievable, throbbing metropolis.” But you’re not a New Yorker if you don’t love a good debate, and she’s about to get into it with some of the city’s most outspoken voices in a new conversation series called Only in New York.
“Every person on the panel is a double take-inducing figure,” says the Harlem-born reporter who will moderate the talks. “They’ll make you look twice and think twice. It is a series of big personalities, and it’s gonna be weird and wonderful.”
The series is part of the Museum of the City of New York’s reinvention, inspired by its recently opened interactive exhibit New York at Its Core, about its history and how the forces of money, density, diversity and creativity shaped it. Beginning this Wednesday, Only in New York will bring big emotion right from the start — the first panel in the monthly series is called I Love New York? and pits 23-year former state Sen. Marty Markowitz against Clayton Patterson, the notorious Lower East Side street artist and activist on whether gentrification is pushing out creativity.