Sunday, July 31, 2016

Colonial


"New York is a colonial city, a campsite. All the hostility and cruelty of nature are present in this city, the most prodigious monument humanity has ever raised to itself."
Jean-Paul Sartre, We Have Only This Life to Live

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Strangeness


"Only in a crowded, diverse place like New York, surrounded by strangeness, do I come home to myself."
Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone

Friday, July 29, 2016

New York Subways


"'Strange thing about the subways in New York,' he said. 'You spit and they fine you twenty-five dollars, but you can throw up for nothing."
Lewis Grizzard, The Grizzard Sample

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bad Way


"My beloved New York is in a bad way. To be sure, many things are better: schools, food, race relations, public safety, even manners. The city is wealthier and healthier than when I was young. But—hey, in New York there's always a but—its architectural face is colder, more remote, less human, seeming to be sneering."
Pete Hamill, National Geographic

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In Flux


"The tip of Manhattan was originally a trading post for Native people. So that means that things are always in flux there—if you don't like change, it's not a good place to be."
Jim Jarmusch, Jim Jarmusch

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Desperate Summer


"A New York summer is frenetic, syncopated, blistered, frayed, dusty. There is a desperation in its heat, and a sense of letdown, despite relief, in its air-conditioned indoors."
Cynthia Ozick, Quarrel & Quandary

Monday, July 25, 2016

Remarkable Ship


"The tall new buildings at the island's tip were like huge sails, like the prow of a remarkable ship. The whole island seemed as if it were poised to cast off and sail forward into the harbor, out to sea, bound for some better future."
Philip Friedman, Inadmissible Evidence

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Labyrinthine Jungle


"How had she endured the life in New York City? How? It seemed like some dark labyrinthine jungle to her now. But when you were in it, you just didn't realize you had a choice. That there really was a way out."
Naomi Ragen, The Sacrifice of Tamar

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Never Stop


"This is New York. You never stop for anything in New York and if you notice that there's a guy around a tree, you say to yourself, "lt's a tree freak, that's all," and keep going."
Irving Younger, The Irving Younger Collection

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Battle of the Wills


"New York City is the best place there ever was for a godless person to practice her moral code. I think it has to do with the crowded sidewalks and subways. Walking to and from the hardware store requires the push and pull of selfishness and selflessness, taking turns between getting out of someone's way and them getting out of yours, waiting for a dog to move, helping a stroller up steps, protecting the eyes from runaway umbrellas. Walking in New York is a battle of the wills, a balance of aggression and kindness."
Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Life Goes On


"Here's the thing about New York, the thing I love most: there is no such substance as silence. If you ever stop talking, and he stops talking, the city takes over for you. A siren forms a distant parabola of sound. A door slams. The old couple in 4A argues over who will answer the telephone. The young lovers in 2C reach an animalistic climax. A million other lives play out on your doorstep, and not one of them gives a damn about your little problems. Life goes on and on and on."
Beatriz Williams, The Secret Life of Violet Grant

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Imagine Freedom


"Suddenly it came to him. That Strawberry Fields garden he'd come from, and the Freedom Tower he'd been thinking of: taken together, didn't they contain the two words that said it all about this city, the two words that really mattered? It seemed to him that they did. Two words: the one an invitation, the other an ideal, an adventure, a necessity. 'Imagine' said the garden. 'Freedom' said the tower. Imagine freedom. That was the spirit, the message of this city he loved. You really didn't need anything more. Dream it and do it. But first you must dream it."
Edward Rutherfurd, New York

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Broadway


"I wondered how this town ever got put together. Someone was dreaming big all right. Starting down in Wall Street and nosing ever upwards into the ruins of the old West Side, Broadway snakes through the island, the only curve in this world of grids. Somehow Broadway always contrives to be just that little bit shittier than the zones through which it bends. Look at the East Village: Broadway's shittier than that. Look uptown, look at Columbus: Broadway's shittier. Broadway is the moulting, scuffed-up python of New York. I sometimes feel like that myself. Here the fools sway to Manhattan time."
Martin Amis, Money

Saturday, July 16, 2016

New York Centers


"In New York City there are three centers for people living on the street: Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, and Central Booking."
Lee Stringer, Grand Central Winter

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sidewalk Rage


"You go to L.A., people complain about road rage -- that's nothing. In New York City, we have sidewalk rage. You can't walk slower than 25 miles per hour in New York City. Go to Times Square during rush hour -- I dare you to stop and look at a cloud. There's a five-person pile-up behind you. It's like, 'Hey! C'mon. What's going on? C'mon, I gotta get to the curb. Let's go! Someone better be dead when I get up there, that's all I'm saying.'"
Eliot Chang, Comedy Central

Thursday, July 14, 2016

New York Theory


"Live long enough in New York and everyone tends to develop a theory as to when New York stopped being 'New York.' This is strictly a local phenomenon. No citizen of Boston, Wichita, or Seattle has ever bothered with this sort of municipal introspection, while in New York it is compulsory to periodically rhapsodize about the days when the city was more elegant, more seedy, more avant-garde,  more soulful, more disreputable, more sophisticated, more freaky, more tolerant, more incomparable."
Tim Sultan, Sunny's Nights

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dwelling of the Very Rich


"He thought there was something wrong about a city that had become largely a dwelling of the very rich and the people who serviced their needs. He missed the city of his boyhood, then the greatest port, the largest manufacturing entrepĂ´t on earth. He recalled it as exciting and comprehensible in a way that  the current city was not—a place that now shipped only digits, that made nothing but money."
Michael Gruber, The Return

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Come About


"That's how quickly New York City comes about―like a weather wane―or the head of a cobra. Time tells which."
Amor Towles, Rules of Civility

Monday, July 11, 2016

Seat of Grace


"The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson is the most beautiful bridge in the world. Made of cables and steel beams, it gleams in the sky like a reversed arch. It is blessed. It is the only seat of grace in the disordered city."
Le Corbusier, When the Cathedrals Were White

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Taker


"New York takes such a lot from you that you have to save all you can of yourself or you simply give out."
Hart Crane, Letters, 1916-1932


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Fantasy


"Most of us who come here from other places sincerely believe for a while that we can just leave our roots and start over reborn in New York. And New York encourages this fantasy."
Christopher Bollen, T Magazine



Friday, July 8, 2016

Idea of New York



"Everyone who moves to New York from another place comes at least in part because they're chasing after an idea of 'New York.' This New York is not a place you move to; you actually arrive with it already in your mind."
Adam Sternbergh, Never Can Stay Goodbye

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bravado


"One of the things he used to love about New York City was the sheer bravado of it all. It used you up, spat you out."
Colum McCann, Thirteen Ways of Looking

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Purposefulness


"In his opinion, New York was a foreign city. He was forever taken aback by its pervasive atmosphere of purposefulness—the tight focus of its drivers, the brisk intensity of its pedestrians drilling their way through all obstacles without a glance to either side."
Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Every Genotype


"This was New York. Every living breathing genotype entered his cab at some point, day or night. And if this was an inflated notion, that was New York as well."
Don DeLillo, Zero K

Monday, July 4, 2016

Quintessence of America

Photo: Pixabay
"New York, in both its virtues and its vices—its excellences and its defects—its immense material progress, its gayety and good  humor, its active and eager intelligence, its intense energy, its vast treasures of wealth and knowledge, its presumptuous audacity, its reckless lawlessness, its organized disorder, is the very symbol and type of the country. New York is the quintessence of America."
Theodore Sedgwick III, quoted in Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Midwest


"New Yorkers panic if anything about the Midwest comes into conversation, because one, they don't know anything about it and, two, they're not absolutely sure where it is."
Garrison Keillor, Wobegon Boy

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The High Line


"The High Line represented everything Heat loved about New York: a bold idea done big and done right, and open to everybody."
"Richard Castle," Frozen Heat

Friday, July 1, 2016

Trustafrarian Disneyland

Mott Street

"I had the foresight to make an appointment with Reality. It was then that I finally saw New York for what it was, which is essentially Trustafrarian Disneyland with the occasional manipulative magic movie moment. I packed my bags and never looked back."
Ryan O'Connell, Thought Catalog