NEW YORK, May 30 (UPI) -- Actor Kevin Bacon says he has loyalty to New York City despite his Philadelphia origins.
Bacon, who has lived in Manhattan for 35 years, told the New York Daily News he is "most at peace" living in New York City.
"A lot of people associate New York City with being a stressful place to live, but for me it is where I am most at peace," said Bacon, 52. "It has been a very important part of my life. So important that there have been many times when I probably should have moved to Los Angeles for my career, but I never did. And when it came time for me and my wife ('The Closer' star Kyra Sedgwick) to raise our kids, we did that in New York, too."
He moved to New York City in 1976, when he was 17, to study acting at the Circle in the Square Theatre School.
"People say that the city wasn't as cleaned up and safe back then," he said. "But to me, landing in New York was great. Sure, I was held up at gunpoint once, but I felt a lot safer and cleaner here than in Philadelphia."
As a struggling actor, he slept on a couch in his sister's apartment on the upper West Side until finding a place of his own a few blocks away. His New York breakthrough came when he discovered the now-closed All State Café.
"In acting school I made friends with a guy who eventually invited me to get a beer with him at the All State Cafe," Bacon said. "Then I got a job as a waiter there and I worked on and off for almost four years.
The "Footloose" star next appears on the big screen as villain Sebastian Shaw in "X-Men: First Class," which comes out Friday.