İlhan Erşahin’s New York

We Asked World-Renowned Musician İlhan Erşahin About New York, Where He Has Lived For Many Years.

You say there’s no other city like New York when it comes to music. Why?
A hundred years ago Paris and Vienna were the artistic capitals of the world. Two hundred years ago it was Istanbul… Now it’s New York. It’s not so clear cut, of course, now that we have the internet, but in general that’s the way it is.

What can you tell us about the East Village, which you compare to an island?
The East Village is a very special place. The closest thing to it in Istanbul is Cihangir. The East Village is a part of Manhattan. Like a small village in the heart of a giant metropolis. The best food in the world is here, even though New York, and the U.S. in general, is considered the home of unhealthy fast food. The people who live, eat and hang out in the East Village know a thing or two about food. It’s an innovative place.

Where should people who are looking for music go in New York?
There are always plenty of concerts and clubs to go to. It’s an extremely rich city in terms of events. All you have to do is have a look at publications like the Village Voice or the Brooklyn Vegan, or check out the websites, to follow the musical happenings in the city.

What are three absolute must’s in New York?
Good food, good musicians and the freedom to be yourself!

Born in Sweden in 1965 and interested in music since he was 16, İlhan Erşahin has lived in New York City since he was 20.