Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

"The overrated free calendar year begins and ends with a gathering of thousand of non-New Yorkers, most of whose primary motivation in life is to get on television. All the good sidelines spots in Times Square are long gone by dusk. Add the extra buzz kills of high security, crushing crowds, brutal cold, and a ban on booze, and that's all the excuse you need to say at home with the remote control, marveling at how much younger Dick Clark looks now than he did in his '50s heyday."
Frommer's New York City for Free & Dirt Cheap

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sensory Overload

Seventh Avenue

"New York is such a sensory overload that the only way to survive is to block out some of the input, to become inured -- to develop that famous New York shell and pretend that life here is normal."
Jay McInerney, quoted in Empire City: New York Through the Centuries

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Atomic Frenzy

Tenth Avenue

"New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit."
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Monday, December 27, 2010


Seventh Avenue

"What makes New York so dreadful, I believe, is mainly the fact that the vast majority of its people have been forced to rid themselves of one of the oldest and most powerful of human instincts -- the instinct to make a permanent home."
H.L. Mencken, A Second Mencken Chrestomathy

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Grand Army Plaza

"This was Manhattan, after all; everyone wanted a foothold, and they weren't making any more of it."
Jonathan Dee, The Privileges

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in New York

Rockefeller Center

"Christmastime in New York City really is magical, especially uptown. The air smells like falling snow and burning logs and Christmas cookies baking. From up in our penthouses, Central Park looks like a silvery wonderland, Park Avenue is a parade of Christmas lights, and the size of the tree in Rockefeller Center seems to promise that this is going to be he most amazing Christmas ever--although most of us will be drinking too much champagne to notice."
Cecily von Ziegesar, All I Want Is Everything 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve in New York

Sixth Avenue

"This was Christmas Eve in New York. This was the city dressed in richest stones and trinkets. This was the city trying to match the gems from her endless treasure chest against the winking and sparking brilliants in Heaven's vault. This was a city bathed in Christmas peace, breathing carols into the night. This was City Magnificent."
Meyer Berger, Meyer Berger's New York

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Wondrous Toy

Conservatory Water

"The great big city's a wondrous toy
Just made for a girl and boy.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy."
Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, Manhattan

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paved Rivers

Eighth Avenue

 "The avenues of New York do not lead anywhere. They are paved rivers which go on and on through various districts to lose themselves eventually in wildernesses, to be dried up in social deserts."
Stephen Graham, New York Nights

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Best in Yourself

West 155th

"That is what is so magnificent about New York — it is a place that makes you reach for the best in yourself or risk the consequences. New York is tough — if you don't help yourself, it won't help you."
S.B. Howard, Strange But True: New York City

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010


New York skyline and Manhattan Bridge

"The skyline of New York is a monument, an outward symbol of an aggressive and once confident people, a technological achievement that is matchless in the history of the human race."
George H. Douglas, Skyscrapers

Friday, December 17, 2010

New York State of Mind

Riverside Park South

"Don't care if it's Chinatown or Riverside.
I don't have any reasons.
I've left them all behind.
I'm in a New York state of mind."
Billy Joel, New York State Of Mind

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Trouble with New York

Strand Book Store

"In New York books are plentiful and easy to get. The music and the theatre are the best in the world. The great trouble with New York is that one feels uncomfortable while enjoying these things -- In the daytime a man should be making money."
Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Gateway of America

Manhattan Bridge Arch and Colonnade

"The gateway of America, and the most dazzling expressing of its lingering diversity, is still the city of New York."
Jan Morris, Coast to Coast

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chasing the Dragon

"The first month in New York for a newcomer has this certain amazing magic about it that is indescribable. Incandescent lucidity.  However long you stay in New York, you pretty much spent the rest of your time there trying to recapture that feeling. Chasing the Manhattan dragon."
Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Monday, December 13, 2010

Manhattan is Not New York

Midtown Manhattan

"In New York today, the face of the city, Manhattan,  is proud and glittering. But Manhattan is not the city. New York really is a sprawl of neighborhoods, which pile into one another."
Jimmy Breslin, New York Stories

Sunday, December 12, 2010

No Common Sense

"The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79. "
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brazil Nuts


"New Yorkers are like Brazil Nuts -- a hard shell outside, very hard to crack, but once they let you in, they are as soft as people anywhere else."
Debu Majumdar, From the Ganges to the Snake River

Friday, December 10, 2010

In the Shade

London Terrace Towers

"Though I love New Yorkers, I hate New York. I had thought it would be the other way around. I can't live somewhere where even when the sun does shine you don't get to see it -- I can't live in the shade of these buildings any longer."
Nick Alexander, 50 Reasons to Say Goodbye

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Nowhere

West 66th St.

"New York was the nowhere he had built around himself, and he realized he had no intention of ever leaving it again."
Paul Auster, City of Glass

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

People are Dreaming Again

Strawberry Fields

"New York is beginning to look like Paris when I was younger, when I was twenty-four and people were holding hands and kissing under bridges. It's happening again. People are dreaming again."
John Lennon, All We Are Saying

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Word "Millionaire"

J.P. Morgan's study

"New York was a city where men made such incredible fortunes that a new word, 'millionaire,' was on everybody's lips."
Lloyd R. Morris, Incredible New York

Monday, December 6, 2010

New York Rent

Third Avenue

"In Washington, the first thing people tell you is what their job is. In Los Angeles you learn their star sign. In Houston you're told how rich they are. And in New York they tell you what their rent is."
Simon Hoggart, America: A User's Guide

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Clean is Not Enough

East 13th

"When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough."
Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitan Life/Social Studies

Friday, December 3, 2010

Biggest Little Small Town

West Village

"New York is the biggest little small town in America. That's why it's so dangerous. Believe me: having your purse snatched is nothing compared to being mugged by Manhattan manners over rare tuna on toast rounds."
Anna Quindlen, Rise and Shine

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Price of Progress

West 11th

"Believing it to be the price of progress, New Yorkers are remarkably cheerful about destruction."
Nathan Silver, Lost New York

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Besieged City

Lexington Avenue

"New York is like a besieged city, hanging, heart in mouth, upon tidings that may mean salvation and may mean ruin."
George Warrington Steevens, The Land of the Dollar

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sparkling Treasure

Times Square

"For the tourist, each moment in New York is, at least potentially, a sparkling treasure, an immensity of experience; for the New Yorker, there is a comforting mundanity to everyday life, a predictability and a delicious smallness."
Murray Pomerance, City That Never Sleeps

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do Not Invade

Lexington Avenue Armory

"There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Funny You Are

Central Park

"How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget's steeple leaning a little to the left."
Frank O'Hara, The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sense of Competition

Fifth Avenue

"In New York, one's sense of competition had to be practical: there was always someone doing better than you, always."
Steve Martin, An Object of Beauty