Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #63

John Lennon (1940 – 1980)

63 John Lennon

“I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village,” John Lennon once said. “It might be dying, and there might be a lot of dirt in the air you breathe, but this is where it’s happening.” But his wife, Yoko Ono, had a different take: “New York City never changed John Lennon. He was born a New Yorker.” And indeed, the former Beatle was more at home in his final adoptive home than anywhere else he had ever been, seizing the spirit of the Big Apple and commemorating it with his exuberant song, “New York City”. Though he is most closely associated today with the Dakota, where he was known to his neighbors as the guy who brought sushi to the co-op potluck parties, his first NYC home was in that Bohemian neighborhood for which he had so ached — Greenwich Village (at 105 Bank Street). From there, to the Hit Factory recording studio, to Madison Square Garden where he made his final public appearance (as a surprise guest of Elton John), he made New York City his own. Today, his fans make pilgrimages to his iconic Central Park memorial, the mosaic bearing the title of his most famous post-Beatles song, “Imagine”.


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