Like so many artists, David Bowie had a very special relationship with New York City. Today, the city he called home for over two decades will reciprocate the love, as Mayor Bill de Blasio has officially declared January 20 David Bowie Day in NYC.
A proclamation will honoring the legendary icon will be read after tonight’s curtain call of Lazarus, the theater production co-written by Bowie, according to Bowie’s Facebook page. The musical legend, who died earlier this month at the age of 69, had lived in the city on and off since the early ’70s. He had lived in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood with his family since 1999.
“I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” said Bowie in a 2003 interview (via The New York Times). “I’ve lived in New York longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. It’s amazing: I am a New Yorker.” After bouncing between NYC and a variety of other cities including Berlin and Lausanne, Switzerland in the ’70s and ’80s, he finally settled in the concrete city with his wife Iman in the early ‘90s.
Bowie died on January 10, two days after releasing his 25th record Blackstar, which has since become his first chart-topping LP stateside. He recorded and wrote the jazzy, critically-acclaimed record at New York’s The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios.
In a 2003 essay written about his relationship with the city for New York magazine, he explained that he lived it up — “I rarely got up before noon and hit the sack again around four of five in the morning” — in his early 20s. But in his later years, his experience with the city had become a more refined one.
“These days, my buzz can be obtained by just walking, preferably early in the morning, as I am a seriously early riser,” wrote Bowie. “The signature of the city changes shape and is fleshed out as more and more people commit to the street. A magical transfer of power from the architectural to the human.”
Thanks to the memorialization of his very own day, the city’s and its 10s of millions of people won’t forget New York’s longtime unearthly inhabitant anytime soon.