For you new and newish New Yorkers, you have only heard the stories of the seedy old Times Square and Midtown West neighborhoods filled with pimps and hos, strip clubs and peep shows. While some of them still remain, the vast majority of the neighborhood has changed and it is not what it once was. In fact, part of us resents the change. While it’s great for the city, great for tourism and probably safer, there is something very generic, very commercial and NOT New York about it.
We bring this subject up as David Letterman winds down and ends his long, famous career spanning over 6,000 episodes. His humor is wonderful — no doubt. As a New Yorker, we have to salute Dave, pay homage to Letterman for always making this city a part of his show, for making Late Night with David Letterman synonymous with New York and thank him for helping change the neighborhood that we just talked about.
It’s a gross overstatement to say that Dave changed the neighborhood because he did not do it himself but since 1993, it has been the home of the Late Show with David Letterman and from 1993, the neighborhood has changed A LOT.
From the disappearing sex shops to the new Steak ‘n Shake next door, Dave has been part of the gentrification process. He leaves a nice shiny neighborhood to Stephen Colbert who does not have the challenges of attracting people to his theater in a place that some may be afraid to walk to. This is not a knock on Colbert as we wish him all the best and look forward to his first episode but a way of saying thank you to Letterman.
He stuck with us through it all, in a changing neighborhood and reminded us constantly that New York City is the greatest city in the world.
Happy Retirement, Dave.