Has your relationship with New York changed since those days? I mean, there are days when I love it. And then there are times—like on the way here when I was smushed against a stranger’s armpit—when I fucking hate it here.
In my years here, I’ve seen it being sold out, sold out, sold out. To real estate, to corporate stuff. I must say that I don’t like the noise of the city anymore. And I don’t like how a lot of young people are just into money and status. Going out becomes less interesting. But New York is about change and it’s about hustle. It’s about Money-Making Manhattan. I don’t have nostalgia, like, Oh, if only New York was like 1978. But I’m kind of sick of New York.
Back in ‘81 you said that your main aspiration is to be able to pay your rent and not have to worry about money. But that was a long time ago. What’s your main aspiration now?
My ambition is to keep making things, and to do it my own way. That’s my priority, I guess. To make music and movies that I believe in and keep doing it, and not be too concerned with how many people it reaches. Keep input and output. [chuckles]
Jim Jarmusch, interviewed by Michelle Lhooq for VICE.