Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Public Fascination

Manhattan skyline (Pixabay)

"New York City is an archipelago of public fascination. From the soaring heights of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty to the still-gaping wound of the World Trade Center, New York is the city that America consumes as greedily as any public figure, rejoicing in its triumphs, mourning with its losses, and gloating over its failures."
Russell Leigh Sharman and Cheryl Harris Sharman, Nightshift

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Other Lady

"He left me for another lady
He took my hand one day and told me
He was leaving
Me disbelieving
And I I I I I I I I
Had to let him go
Her name was New York, New York
And she took his heart away oh my
Her name was New York, New York."
Paloma Faith, New York

Monday, April 24, 2017

New York Myth

"New York was right now. The people I had read about, seen in magazines simply walked out the door, onto the sidewalk, stood right here. Stepped in there and got a drink. In these stone corridors, life began. The myth was true."
Eileen Myles, Inferno

Sunday, April 23, 2017


"Brooklyn is what's happening in New York City
. And what's happening in New York City is happening in Brooklyn."

Harold Augenbraum, quoted in The Brooklyn Experience

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Memory and Amnesia

"The city is constantly being tugged between the forces of memory and amnesia. Every un-renovated tenement is an offense to someone's sense of progress, each new building a desecration of someone's childhood. We fret because the city is changing too quickly and also not nearly fast enough. But, outside occasional periods of disenchantment, one constant remains: New York is not quite ample enough for all the people who want to be here."
Justin Davidson, Magnetic City

Friday, April 21, 2017

Digging New York

"A whiff of corner hotdogs
And nearly everybody's got dogs
This apple's sweet and big
Here life's a crazy gig
One thing I know
I dig New York!"
Barry Manilow, I Dig New York

Thursday, April 20, 2017


"Manhattan is the sun at the center of all the wealth in the universe. No power on earth, or in the rumored colonies of the moon and the planet Mars, is greater than the power emanating from Manhattan. If there was a Golden Age of Babylon, in which all that made it a name of infamy had not existed, Manhattan is that Babylon. There are streets of gold in Manhattan."
Jack Henry Abbott, On the Bowery

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mathematical Solution

"New York is a product of American commercial civilisation, but it is not representative of American civilisation itself. The narrow island of Manhattan, with its myriad aspiring towers, has all the alluring precision of a mathematical solution. But the United States is not a country of solutions."
James Pope-Hennessy, America is an Atmosphere

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day and Night

"By day New York turns to practicality, to the provident tasks of survival. But at night ancient Manhattan comes back as a ghost from a deeper world still living but unwisely forgotten."
Mark Caldwell, New York Night

Monday, April 17, 2017


"New York is in a constant state of mutation. If a city conceivably may be compared to a liquid, it may be reasonably said that New York is fluid: it flows."
Carl Van Vechten, Parties

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Born Modern

"New York is really the oldest city in the world. Meaning it is the oldest modern city. It was born modern."
McKenzie Wark, quoted in Capital New York

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New York at a Distance

"Oh, I wished that it were possible to know New York in that way only — as a masterpiece wrought for the illumination of the sight, a splendor lifting aloft and shedding its radiance like a searchlight, making one big and great with feeling. Oh, that I should never draw nearer to descend into its precipitous gorges, where visions are broken and shattered and one becomes one of a million, average, ordinary, insignificant."
Claude McKay, A Long Way From Home

Friday, April 14, 2017


"New York is a woman, and as such she is a little of everything. Certainly, she is a sophisticate. Sometimes she is a lady of the evening. To her cosmopolitan visitors, she is always a gracious hostess deferential to their differing points of view. And like a true Earth Mother, she rests but never sleeps."
Duke Ellington, Music is My Mistress

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hundred Villages

"I was in the mood to stay aboveground, to look out the window as the scenery changed and really see it: the way one Manhattan neighborhood slides into the next, a hundred villages, each of a different character, all piled up on one island."
Suzanne Rindell, Three-Martini Lunch

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


"The anger never quite disappears. In New York, city of dreams where only the cleverest or luckiest gain traction, it's everywhere, the anger."
Erica Abeel, Wild Girls

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fear of Missing Out

"Being in New York means treating the rest of the world like it has perpetual #FOMO. You're in New York, and everyone else isn't."
Drew Magary, Deadspin

Monday, April 10, 2017


"In Manhattan, you didn't spend your time gazing at rivers or distant climes, you searched for roof gardens and observation decks that allowed you to stare back at the city in a perpetual act of self-worship."
Kimberley Tait, Fake Plastic Love

Sunday, April 9, 2017


"The city was overwhelming, in all the best ways. On a crowded street, you felt as if worlds were hurtling past you: men, women, and children, unknowable, with exaltations and miseries of their own. Each of them looking both battle-hardened and hopeful in that distinctly New York City way."
Brian Morton, Florence Gordon

Saturday, April 8, 2017


"The idea of living anywhere else has never occurred to me. Indeed, to live in New York is to have lived everywhere."
Glenn Ligon, The New Yorker 

Friday, April 7, 2017

New York Careers

"This was the problem with New Yorkers. Career took precedence over everything. Even death."
Veronica Henry, High Tide

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Manhattan skyline (Pixabay)

"New York is as ugly as they said, as big as they said, as noisy as they said, and as crazy as they said, but though I was only in the city for only an hour I acquired a strange fondness for it. I guess I never felt so damn free. Like I could get into so much. I could see why so many would arrive trying to fulfill a dream."
Damon Murphy, Sons Like Me

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Time to Move to New York City

"The only time to move to New York City is when you're fresh out of college, unless you happen to be rich. If you're rich, you can move to New York whenever you want."
Sarah Dunn, The Arrangement

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


"A New Yorker interested in the history of New York is by definition a lunatic, going against the tide, swimming or rowing upstream against the press of his fellow citizens, all of whom don't give a shit about this past stuff."
Kim Stanley Robinson, New York 2140

Monday, April 3, 2017


"New York is in fact a deep city, not a high one."
Roland Barthes, A Barthes Reader

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Beginning of Europe

West Village (Teri Tynes / Wikimedia Commons)

"For Europeans New York is America but for Americans it is the beginning of Europe."
Paul de Rousiers, American Life

Friday, March 31, 2017


Bedford-Stuyvesant (Wikimedia Commons)

"Bed-Stuy is the kind of neighborhood where the only people with money are drug dealers; people who hit the daily number; and people who got hit by cars, sued, and got paid."
Chris Rock, Rock This

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New York Temperature

"New York swings in a few weeks from arctic cold to tropic heat. These changes acerbate the nerves. There is a quality in the air in spring and autumn that makes it possible for you to do more there than in any other city."

Alec Waugh, My Brother Evelyn & Other Profiles

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


"That was another thing Ruby would miss about New York, if she were leaving: she'd miss how much space people gave you. You could have a fucking sobbing fit on the subway and no one would mess with you. You could barf in a garbage can on the street corner and no one would mess with you. If you were giving off invisible vibes, people respected that."
Emma Straub, Modern Lovers

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Human Expresiveness

"Most people are in New York because they need evidence—in large quantities—of human expressiveness; and they need it not now and then, but every day. That is what they need. Those who go off to the manageable cities can do without; those who come to New York cannot."
Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City

Monday, March 27, 2017

Old Alarm Clock

"New York is awful I think. After racking my brains I just this minute decided it is like a battered-up old alarm clock that insists on gaining five or six hours a day & has to be kept lying on its side."
Elizabeth Bishop, Words in Air

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Odd Truth

"It is an odd truth about New York, a city of millions of people, of five boroughs and hundreds of square miles: but one will inevitably stumble upon one's ex."
Daniel Polansky, A City Dreaming

Saturday, March 25, 2017


"As the song says, New York City never sleeps, but between 4:15 and 4:30 a.m., it sometimes takes a quick catnap."
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, Alert

Friday, March 24, 2017

New York Fictions

"New York City is the place where people come to invent, reinvent, or find the room they need to be who they wish to be. It's a place where fictions run freely and plentifully, where people are allowed a certain pretense about themselves, where cultivating a persona or an idea of how to live is permitted, even encouraged."
Siri Husvedt, Yonder: Essays

Thursday, March 23, 2017


"Despite New York's priding itself on its diversity and the shade it throws at the South, much of the city is as segregated as anywhere after the workday ends. Smith Street. Court Street. The major thoroughfares of hipster Brooklyn, of my life, are one big ad for an America that likes the idea of diversity but isn't sure how to execute on it."
Amy Haimerl, Village Voice

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Original Settler

"You could, as Mini Auntie told me once, spend ten years in Britain and not feel British, but after spending ten months in New York, you were a New Yorker, an original settler, and in no time you would be zipping uptown, downtown, crosstown, wherever, strutting, jaywalking, dispensing directions to tourists like a mandarin. "You see,' you'd say, 'it's quite simple: the city's like a grid."
H. M. Naqvi, Home Boy

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


"There will always be something essentially elsewhere about New York. It is a place that people come to precisely because it doesn't ever fully offer itself. It's intoxicating. Keeps you on your toes. Keeps you drinking coffee and keeps you walking."
Becky Cooper, Mapping Manhattan

Monday, March 20, 2017

New York Scale

"New York is so different from much of the country. Certainly different from my little capital city. I mean the scale alone. Your mix of glamour and blatant materialism, the bigger-than-life display of culture—music, theater, movies, dance—are all over the top. It goes on and on. So many lifestyles and lives coexisting, yet not really mingling. The twenty-four-hour city with beauty in unsuspected places: small galleries and big museums; opulent, brilliantly lit interiors inside deteriorating classical structures. The unmanageable city with problems of impossible scale, with decades of  historic social programs and heralded mayors. The dying, yet indestructible city."
John H. McKoy, Son of the Maya

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cowing and Inspiring

"To spend earliest adulthood in New York is to be cowed and inspired by a place where literally millions of people are smarter, better looking, and more successful than you can hope to be."
Pete Tosiello, Village Voice

Saturday, March 18, 2017

New York Competition

"The skyscrapers of Manhattan reached up to fluffy clouds, a forest of steel and glass winking in the bright morning sunlight, each competing to be taller than the next. The Empire State Building. The Rockefeller Center. Higher, bigger, better. Look at me."
Sarah Morgan, Sleepless in Manhattan

Friday, March 17, 2017


"New Yorkers are used to danger. This is a city with a neighborhood called Hell's Kitchen. The official New York City bird is the middle finger."
Stephen Colbert, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Free Enterprise

"New York is simply the essence of the American Way, a triumph of the spirit of Free Enterprise."
Barbara Rose, New York magazine

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Snow in New York

"Snow in New York is like those toxin-eating footpads they sell in Chinatown: clean for an hour or so, and then nasty."
Patrick Ryan, Tales of Two Cities

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Saddest and Coldest

"Most cumbersome, most restless, most ambitious, most confused, most comical, saddest and coldest and most human of cities."
Maeve Brennan, The Long-Winded Lady

Monday, March 13, 2017

New York Indifference

"I won't say New York is ever really friendly to the new-comer—it is too self-satisfied for that, and too much absorbed in its own affairs; but, on the other hand, I don't think it is ever hostile, as you have fancied. Indifferent, rather—indifferent is as strong an adjective as I would use."
Brander Matthews, A Confident To-morrow

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New York Soul

"I feel that we have lost a major part of this great city. Its soul, what makes New York 'New York', is fading. It's clean and it's safe. That's great and I appreciate that as an adult. But the rawness and the spaces that attracted the wayward traveler are gone, going."
Michael Alan, Crudo

Saturday, March 11, 2017


"Every New Yorker has come a good half-hour late into the world and is trying all his life to make it up."
Charles Wentworth Dilke, Greater Britain

Friday, March 10, 2017

Heat, Money, Sex and Fever

"Heat, money, sex and fever—this is it, this is New York."
Martin Amis, Money

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Reasons to Love New York

"What do I love about New York City? That it's against the law to be bored. That New Yorkers put up with tiny apartments to claim a foothold in the mighty metropolis. That there's always a new neighborhood to discover. That contrary to legend, New Yorkers go out of their way to help strangers. That the most interesting people in the world live here, and living in New York makes everybody interesting. That every country in the world has an outpost here. That New Yorkers love their landmarks. That the classic New Yorker was born somewhere else, arrived in the city, and shouted, 'I'm home!'"
Anthony W. Robins, 6sqft

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


"We all endured the same things: shoe-box apartments, crowded subways, overpriced groceries, indifferent bosses. What kept everyone going was the dream: store windows on Madison Avenue, brownstones lit golden in the night, town cars gliding across the park. Imagining what it would be like when you got there, someday. Manhattan was like a dazzling life-size diorama. A motivation to work harder, stay later, wake earlier."
Anna Pitoniak, The Futures