Sometimes it isn’t easy finding romance in a city so notorious cold and hard as NYC. Stuck prepping for a meeting, or riding the D Train – when Ohlala is not at hand – we escape into the legacy of fictional characters that the landmarks of the city seem to evoke. Until that moment when you can live the feeling, here’s a list of our favorite figures from literature, film, theater and television to ogle over.
Don Draper: Mad Men
Tall, dark, incredibly intelligent and troubled; Don Draper is the ultimate Byronic hero and tease of New York. His persona is a fabrication of the post-Korean war soldier named Dick Whitman that he used to be. Later, adrift in the world of New York’s 1960’s economic boom, Don Draper rides the waves of opportunity high by positioning himself as a coveted creative director in the advertising industry. In his personal life he starts off as a humble lovable family man, but as the need to cater to the up and coming mega-companies including Coca-Cola, Kodak and Lucky Strike puts pressure on him, his relationships become increasingly tempestuous. The magic of Don is his tenacious spirit in business and play. In the end, it earns him the eternal attention of what seems to be all the women in his city. In trying to balance it all, if Don Draper was around he’d not only be adman but also an Ohlala man.
Jay Gatsby: The Great Gatsby
As Nick Carraway discovers, Jay Gatsby is the socialite that everybody knows about, without actually knowing. The ultimate moment of attraction that readers feel towards his character is when we discover that all his struggles and secrecy have been for the singular goal of earning the love and respect of a women, Daisy Buchanan. That the forces of prejudice and elitism ultimately cannot be influenced by Jay – neither through goodness nor money – only adds to reader’s eternal empathy and admirable of the Great Gatsby.Perhaps, if he had tried Ohlala, he would have had a brighter fate.
Tony: West Side Story
Being the Romeo of New York may seem like a cliche, but that’s before we reconsider why we fell in love with Shakespeare’s story in the first place. Like Romeo, Tony felt bound to a life prescribed to him by his family and his loyalty to his former gang the Jets, it was only when he fell in love that he experienced a freedom worth risking his life over. His bold willingness to pursue Maria, forbidden to him because of her affiliation with the Sharks gang, ultimately inspires viewers to believe in the potential of a force more powerful in their lives than all their troubles combined. Unfortunately, this is a tale of romance too old and tragic for even Ohlala to undo.
Tony Manero: Saturday Night Fever
By attempting to getting out from behind the shadows of a stagnant life, Tony is a character who captures the audience’s attention with his fiery optimism and moves. Luckily, the dancing and acting chops of John Travolta work in sync to bring to life Tony’s weekday lows as well as his weekend highs. The Italian-American 19 year-old’s aches and pains are put on him by his pressuring parents, social ties and menial job – though come Saturday night, are shed when he whips out his slick disco moves. The progression of the movie follows Tony’s turbulent transition from idealistic and over-confident youth to independent and humble adult which earns him the respect of the woman of his interest Stephanie, as well as the audience. Though, perhaps if he had known about the amount of strong and talented women in New York through Ohlala, his character development might have been just a little bit quicker – though admittedly not as dramatic or entertaining.