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"I love going to the movies on 42nd Street. On a two-show day, I can see a quick movie and then come back and do my show. "

James Monroe Iglehart’s New York

The Tony-nominated performer wows audiences eight times a week playing the Genie in 'Aladdin' on Broadway

I’m from Hayward, California, near San Francisco. I thought that San Francisco was big, but this place is something. When I first got to New York the first thing that went through my mind was “I don’t like snow.” But I said, you know what? I love Broadway more. Because I love Broadway, I can get through the winter. And this was one of the hardest winters ever. When I first came here, all I wanted to do was be on Broadway. And I just stood in Times Square, and thought this is great. And I love to be a part of this community and be able to walk around Times Square and say, “wow, this is still amazing to me.” I still think, this is the biggest, brightest place I’ve ever seen.

What do you love about New York City?

1. I love going to the movies on 42nd Street. I work down the street at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and both of my movie theaters are right there. On a two-show day, when it’s not awards season, I can go see a quick movie and then come back and do my show. It’s great.

2. There’s a little Chinese place called Peking Duck. They have the best roast duck over rice in the world.  When I was in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, it was right near the theater. So I would go there every day.

3. Every now and then, when I feel down, I go into two stores. I go into the giant Toys R’ Us in Times Square, and I go into the Disney Store. I know that sounds cliché, but I am such a Disney fan and such a big kid. I walk around Toys R Us. I walk around all the floors. I see all the toys. And then I walk in the Disney Store. And I walk out thinking, “You know? Life ain’t that bad.”

New York Love

See what other New Yorkers love about this city. To join the conversation and share your favorite things about New York, post to Facebook and Twitter using #WeLoveThisCity


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