Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Collective Aspiration

"Dusk was falling and the lights of the city were coming on one by one in ways that even Edison hadn't imagined. They came on across the great patchwork of office buildings and along the cables of the bridges; then it was the street lamps and the theater marquees, the headlights of the cars and the beacons perched atop the radio towers—each individual lumen testifying to some unhesitant intemperate collective aspiration."
Amor Towles, Rules of Civility

Monday, July 16, 2018

Clown Car

"Rush hour in the New York City subway can be grueling. Everyone is in a huge hurry to get to work or transition into their evening, and so they pile by the hundreds of thousands into a maze of subway cars, often squished into a space that is way too small, surrounded by the other residents of this veritable clown car."
Jasmin Singer, Always Too Much and Never Engouh

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Up to Speed

"New York isn't New York anymore. It's the city that just recently got up to speed with the rest of the nation. New York is the Banana Republic town. A Häagen-Dazs town. Starbucks fucking runs this joint! There are three within four blocks of each other on Second Ave. But dude, I'm not knocking Starbucks, I was just there."
Mike Doughty, New York Rock

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Upper East Side

"Born and raised on the Upper East Side, corner of Vicious and Versace."
Abby Sampson (Rachael Taylor), Charlie's Angels

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wide Awake

"New York is the wide-awake place, the all-night city, the city of noise."
Henry Miller, Letters to Emil

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Serene and Somber

"Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York, especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better."
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sidewalk Stories

Washington Square Park (Wikimedia Commons)

"Manhattan is divided into neighborhoods, and in the older and the less financially prosperous of those, the sidewalks steam with the stories of the people who gather around subway grates, sit on stoops, or play checkers in the park. In many cases, besides the boredom that regularly drives people out of their homes, the apartments these residents occupy are just too small to spend the day in."
Michelle Berry, Shippy First Drafts

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jewish City

Museum of Jewish Heritage (Wikimedia Commons)

"New York is first and foremost a Jewish city, albeit with Chinese food, and anyone who lives here for any amount of time becomes willy-nilly a Jew. Thus, yet another category of Jews: Orthodox, conservative, meshuga, and willy-nilly."
Patrick O'Connor, New York Magazine

Monday, July 9, 2018

Appalling Place

Gravesend Bay (Wikimedia Commons)

"I find it an appalling place, rich for making money, poor for living. I despise its graft, its crime, its dirt, its accents, its utilitarian ugliness, its opportunistic cheapness, its parvenu swank, its swelling army of epicenes—even its philosophy of toleration, which is less a virtue than a confession of weakness, a lack of a way of life."
Earl Sparling, quoted in Supreme City

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Broadway Stair

"Some day this old Broadway shall climb to the skies,
As a ribbon of cloud on a soul-wind shall rise,
And we shall be lifted, rejoicing by night,
Till we join with the planets who choir their delight,
The signs in the streets and the signs in the skies
Shall make a new Zodiac, guiding the wise,
And Broadway make one with that marvelous stair
That is climbed by the rainbow-clad spirits of prayer."
Vachel Lindsay, The Congo and Other Poems

Saturday, July 7, 2018

New York Romance

"Paris may be the city of love, but I swear there's nothing more magical than getting to know someone new under the glittering lights of New York City. The West Village was meant for long, winding walks hand in hand, lingering in front of lingerie stores, kissing along the waterfront. His rooftop in Chelsea was made for savoring wine under the stars. Central Park was crafted for lolling about in bathing suits in the grass on sun-drenched Saturdays, and the whole borough of Manhattan was designed expressly for popping into bagel shops to order everything-and-a-schmear piping hot out of the oven."
Hannah Orenstein, Playing with Matches

Friday, July 6, 2018

Living Museum

"In a way New York is a living museum. Every street offers some historical revelation that you can only hope will survive the city's never-ending makeovers."
Stephanie Lehmann, Astor Place Vintage

Thursday, July 5, 2018


"If, as often seems the case, ambition is the one mother tongue shared by every New Yorker, then the various national tongues are the means immigrant New York uses to express its self-worth."
Rebecca Solnit, Nonstop Metropolis

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

American Spirit

"No place epitomizes the American experience and the American spirit more than New York City."
Michael Bloomberg, quoted in The Little Red Book of New York Wisdom

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sin City

"New York is Sin City and here I am free to slut myself to the hilt. I get up in the morning, scratch my head and wonder who I'm going to fuck next."
Freddie Mercury, Uncut 

Sunday, July 1, 2018


NYC manhole (Luca Nebuloni / Wikimedia Commons)

"Hell is New York City with all the escape hatches sealed."
James R. Frakes, The 2,548 Wittiest Things Anybody Ever Said

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Beautiful and Hideous

"New Yorkbeautiful New York, hideous New York, is stretched ahead of us, the thick ribbon of Manhattan joined loosely to the mainland and the nub of Long Island by thin threads of bridge."
Chris Weitz, The New Order

Friday, June 29, 2018

Dangerous New York

"The city of course, seemed too dangerous. Especially during the summer, the streets so dog mad with heat, untempered, literally steaming with possibilities, none of them good. People got meaner, stuck beneath all that hard light and stone. They worked through it by talking, speaking, shouting, and screaming, in every language on earth."
Chang-rae Lee, Native Speaker

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Inside Out

"New York City turns me inside out; it works its way under my skin and demands constant attention; it breathes in my face like its panhandlers, and it yells in my ears like those angry men with squeegees who used to rush your car when you drove into the City. New York throws you around, like its cabs and subway trains. Its crowds of know-it-alls push past you as though you were not there. "Who the hell are you, anyway, and what do you want here?" the City seems to say."
Shaun O'Connell, Remarkable, Unspeakable New York

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Expression of America

Manhattan skyline (Pixabay)

"New York is the true expression of America, not only of its wealth, its violence, its blending of races, its powerful and youthful enthusiasm, but of all its amazing qualities, its defects and its virtues."
Gino Speranza, The Diary of Gina Speranza

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


"In New York, people come up to me on the street and tell me what they think of my pictures — people I've never met who think they know me. They say, 'John, I like your work, but that movie sucked! Who's your agent? Why'd you pick that project? Who's your representation?We're talking mailmen, cops giving you the review, whether you like it or not."
John Leguizamo, Los Angeles Magazine

Monday, June 25, 2018

Walk the Dog

"This is not Butt Scratch, Ohio. This is New York. Take your dog for a walk, they strip him for parts."
Sally (Debra Mooney), Kirk

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Underdogs and Loudmouths

"New York is a city of underdogs and loudmouths and people who just couldn't stand their small towns for one more second; in a sense, even straight people come to New York to be gay."
Paul Rudnick, New York Magazine

Saturday, June 23, 2018


"I think of New York as a stage, peopled over the centuries by the most fascinating characters anyone could ever hope to meet anywhere, in and out of books, and I feel lucky to be among them, taking my turn on the stage."
Lesley Dormen, LesleyDormen.com

Friday, June 22, 2018

Town of Contrasts

"A town of contrasts, puritan and libertine; the two-sided picture of a well-policed America and a savage continent, of East and West; a few yards from the luxury of Fifth Avenue and one is in battered and dirty Eighth Avenue. New York is the symbol of America, and half of its population is foreign; it is a center of Anglo-Saxon culture, speaking Yiddish; . . . after making you rich in a week, it ruins you in one morning."
Paul Morand, Mirror for Gotham

Thursday, June 21, 2018

On Top of Each Other

"One of the many great things about New York is people here are sarcastic, we have attitude, we're realistic, and we deal with people every day on top of each other on the subway or on the streets."
Theo Cogan, New York Rock

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Great and Romantic Place

"Have I said yet that Brooklyn is a great and romantic place? Its simultaneous multiplicity catches in the brain, it is a streaming, strange place. Its history is generally unknown to the immigrants who arrive each generation, who come to the church spires and endless blocks of row homes, the places named after the dead, the names themselves Anglicized versions of the words used by the Dutch settlers who seized that green heel of land where the Hudson meets the Atlantic."
Colin Harrison, Bodies Electric

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sex Life

"None of us has a sex life. This is Manhattan. Everyone is too busy to have sex."
Sarah Morgan, Sleepless in Manhattan

Monday, June 18, 2018

Land of Peace and Plenty

"New York is a remarkable place peopled by human flotsam and  jetsam, the lucky ones, the successful immigrants – oxymoron! – who crashed or burned their way through the walls of paper, and find themselves in a land of peace and plenty."
Erich Maria Remarque, The Promised Land

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Just Built

"The first impression of a stranger entering New York is that it was built the night before."
New York Daily News, quoted in New York: The Big Apple Quote Book

Saturday, June 16, 2018


"New York feeds on human misery. Gradually, it sucks the life out of us. It's a monster."
Perrine ValleyMad Bull 34

Friday, June 15, 2018

Definitely Change

"I try not to freak out every time a favorite restaurant or bookstore closes. I remind myself that life is change, and that life in New York is definitely change."
Roz Chast, Going into Town

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New York Spring

"From the Battery there comes a breath of the sea; from Westchester, a scent of the country; and when the two unite the result is intoxication. At such a time the strugglers of Manhattan are kept to their daily tasks only by their native instinct to herd. It is certain that if anyone of them should become temporarily insane, pull on his coat, and start for the Catskills the city would be depopulated in thirty minutes. For if ever spring is spring, it is so in New York."
Rex Stout, Target Practice

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The World

"New York is the world with every vice and blemish and beauty and there's privacy thrown in. What more could you ask?"
John Steinbeck, America and Americans

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Los Angeles vs. New York

New York Public Library (Pixabay)

"Los Angeles is the miniseries and New York is the book."
Kennedy, SPIN Magazine

Monday, June 11, 2018

East Village

"I don't even want to talk about what the East Village used to be like compared to today. It was like Mad Max, post-apocalyptic. Now, it looks like a fucking Dave Matthews concert."
Anthony Bourdain, The Layover

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday in New York

Central Park (Pixabay)

"The city of New York itself is as quiet on Sunday as any country village. The striking thing about New York is the stillness of its streets, and those sections of the city that are most crowded and noisy on week.days are almost entirely abandoned and as still as a country bye-way on Sunday."
Henry Collins Brown, Valentine's Manual of the City of New York

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Staying Alive

"My main concern while in New York wasn't becoming a hot shot. I was more concerned with staying alive, and that took all the pleasure out of the experience. I didn't know where to find a grocery store so I subsisted on hot dogs, peanuts and whatever else I could buy from a street vendor. I didn't know how to hail a cab (apparently there's an art to it). I stood on the edge of the sidewalk and waved my arms around but no one stopped, so I limited my entire universe to however far I could walk and I never walked too far because I was afraid I'd get lost and never find my way back home again. Perhaps that's why there are so many homeless people in New York; maybe they're not really lost, maybe some of them have homes but they just don't know how to get there."
Marlin Bressi, Blow Me

Friday, June 8, 2018

Grace and Gaiety

Washington Square Park (Pexels)

"New York itself is a miracle which a large book would not be sufficient to explain. When I stepped ashore, then I thought I was in a larger Rotterdam; when I found my way to Broadway, it seemed as though I was in Paris, and that Paris had taken to business. There were quaintness, grace and gaiety, brightness and grimness, all about."
G. J. Holyoake, quoted in Illustrated New York: The Metropolis of To-day

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Social Disease

"New York is the body of our social disease: I can see the disease here, as elsewhere, but the body—concentrated—is the city, and to live in it does strange, secret, terrible things to one's perspective."
Waldo Frank, quoted in Independent Intellectuals in the United States, 1910-1945

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Early June in New York

"It is early June, and New York is empty of everyone but those chained to it by necessity, by poverty, or by having nowhere else to go."
Paula Cohen, Gramercy Park

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


"New York is constantly evolving. It's hard to recognize the city I grew up in."
Daniel Holzman, Tasting Table

Monday, June 4, 2018


"New York is not the city that never sleeps. New York
is the city where practically nobody exists.
where consequently hardly anyone´s afraid. New York is a mania
made of twenty-two automatic Brooklyns. of 2.2
to the 1.3 power Manhattans."
Ron Winkler, Since It's New York

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down

"No matter what they say, most New Yorkers love watching train wrecks, dope deal shootouts, and fistfights. New York is full of flesh-eaters. It's a thumbs-up, thumbs-down kind of town. Start spreading the news, but watch your back."
Peter Bodo, The Courts of Babylon

Friday, June 1, 2018

Market Town

"New York is first and foremost a market town. Its primary business is selling. Its chief topic of conversation in money." 
Russell Baker, Writers and Age

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Vice and Sleaze

"Unlike Times Square, which always seems to me to be apologizing for its present condition, Fourteenth Street realizes that vice and sleaze are just as necessary to a great metropolis as anything else; in fact it is — perhaps unfortunately — generally the amount of those two commodities, among others, that indicate the cultural greatness of a city."
Tristan Jones, Adrift

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Hayden Planetarium (Alfred Gracombe / Wikimedia Commons)

"I'm told planet Pluto is not a planetNext they'll be telling me that New York is not the center of the universe."
Tobey Grumet, Popular Mechanics

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Inner Self

"To know New York is to walk New York, and to walk New York is to know something greater, something deeper about your inner self."
Peter Ferry, Masculinity in Contemporary New York Fiction