Monday, February 28, 2011

Like a Child

Sixth Avenue

"In its extravagance, its luxury, its expensiveness, its general carelessness with money, New York is like a child that has not learned self-restraint but has its pockets well filled."
Robert Shackleton, The Book Of New York

Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Dominant Narrative

Upper West Side

"London has a dominant narrative. There is no comparable dominant narrative in New York; just the collected narratives of everyone who shows up."
Salman Rushdie, The Paris Review Interviews

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Happens in New York

Zuccotti Park

"What happens in New York has the potential to affect the shape of change elsewhere in the nation."
Nancy Foner, In a New Land

Friday, February 25, 2011


5 Pointz

"New York was pandemonium with a big grin on."
Tom Wolfe, The New Journalism

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Welcome to New York"

Poster on the East Village

"Every time I fly into New York, I expect the stewardess to say: 'Welcome to New York. Get off the plane at your own risk.'"
Lewis Grizzard, It Wasn't Always Easy, But I Sure Had Fun

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tompkins Square Greenmarket

"As far as I'm concerned, the whole point of living in New York City is indoors. You want greenery? Order the spinach."
David Rakoff, Fraud

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Best

New York Public Library

"In New York we simply assumed that we were the best — in baseball as well as intellect, in brashness and in subtlety, in everything — and it would have been unseemly to remark upon such an obvious fact."
Michael Harrington, Fragments of the Century

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nothing is for Certain

590 Madison Avenue

"In this city nothing is for certain. The night can push you forward into a dark future. Or plunge you into a mysterious past."
Gossip Girl (Kristen Bell), Gossip Girl

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Musical Chairs

East 60th

"Everybody in New York City knows there's way more cars than parking spaces. You see cars driving in New York all hours of the night. It's like musical chairs except everybody sat down around 1964."
Jerry Seinfeld, Seinlanguage

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nuclear Waste

West 113th

"I can think of a number of areas in New York where three acres of nuclear waste would make the neighborhood safer to walk around in than it is now, and better lit."
P.J. O'Rourke, All the Trouble in the World

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In a New York Minute

Fifth Avenue

"In New York, change happens in a New York minute."
Barbara Corcoran, Use What You've Got, and Other Business Lessons I Learned from My Mom

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Synthesis of the World

Lever House

"New York is a synthesis of the world, it's Planet Earth on a small scale, so that we human beings who are so much smaller, may have if not the total opportunity, at least something, through the window called New York,  with which to see ourselves, to see the world in which we live, or to half-see it and get the rest by intuition."
Roberto Quesada, The Big Banana

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Babylon Next to the Holy City

Jane's Carousel

"New York is Babylon; Brooklyn is the true Holy City. New York is the city of envy, office work, and hustle; Brooklyn is the region of homes and happiness."
Christopher Morley,  Parnassus on Wheels

Monday, February 14, 2011

Engagement with Strangers

West 23rd

"New York City demands engagement with strangers. The sidewalks and subways are so crowded that we have no choice but to overhear private conversations and see faces at distances normally reserved for intimates. We are often close enough to see the crow's feet taking hold on a young face, smell the kimchi wafting from the paper bag, spot the flask in the back pocket. We are privy to strangers' ambitions, fears, and preoccupations in an almost unnatural way."
Ariel Sabar, Heart of the City

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Times Square subway station

"Only real New Yorkers can find their way around in the subway. If just anybody could find his way around in the subway, there wouldn't be any distinction in being a real New Yorker except talking funny."
Calvin Trillin, With All Disrespect

Saturday, February 12, 2011

No Heart or Soul

Financial District

"If New York has little repute as a city of culture, it has perhaps still less as a city of brotherly love. Its head may be thought shrewd enough in business matters, but whoever accused the city of having a heart or a soul?"
John Charles Van Dyke and Joseph Pennell,  The New New York

Friday, February 11, 2011

New York Fashion Week

"New York City's Fashion Week and the fall fashion magazines that overflow the newsstands during that time make the city glow with the glamour, carnival, and creativity that drives department stores, luxury boutiques, editorials, magazines and fashion-crazed women for months to come."
Elizabeth Currid, The Warhol Economy

Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Immense Palimpsest

East 19th

"An immense palimpsest, New York is always rewriting itself, risking the loss of its past meanings. New York lives in the moment, even if that means it will sometimes seem incomprehensible."
Fran├žois Weil, A History of New York

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The New York Skyline in Quotes

Here is a list of our favorite quotes about the New York skyline -- so far. Remember that you can also use the search box at the bottom of this page, to find more quotes about the skyline (or any other aspect of NY).

1. "I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline."
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
2. "That skyline -- the apotheosis of New York's grace and swagger, creativity and hard labor-- is lovelier to me than the most serene sunset or snowcapped mountain range."
Maureen Corrigan, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading
3. "There's a swell when you first see Manhattan. It's true, you think, the skyline is not a mirage, and you can be inside of it, naked in that gold light."
John Weir, What I Did Wrong
4. "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: A Social History of the Very Tall Building in America
5. "The Manhattan skyline is like looking at a great work of art; when you're in the presence of a great work, it is hard to give your attention to anything else."
Maurice A. Hargraves, A More Perfect Union: Socialization to Realization
6. "The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendor that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach."
Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness
7. "The skyline of Manhattan soars into view, its towers and citadels shooting skyward in anarchic and bewildering profusion, overwhelming in their sense of power and their gargantuan beauty, looking more than ever like some unearthly fantasia out of a fairy tale. It is the one urban view in all the world which sings at a journey's end like a public triumph."
Clair Price, quoted in Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark
8. "Once you're on the bridge and moving towards Manhattan the skyline dominates, and it's almost as if the buildings are people, jammed shoulder to shoulder, rushing toward midtown, thinning out, and then congregating again downtown around Wall Street and Battery Park. They're all lit up, like they've got someplace special to be and they've put on their finest clothes. They know that everyone is looking at them,but they've grown accustomed to that kind of attention, and besides, those little people can look, but they can't really touch."
Andrea Giovino, Divorced from the Mob
9. "The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Tell us, what's your favorite?

Staying Away

West Side of Manhattan

"I think you know that when an American stays away too long from New York something happens to him. Perhaps he becomes a little provincial, a little dead and afraid."
Sherwood Anderson,  The Letters of Sherwood Anderson

Monday, February 7, 2011

Manhattan and its Adjuncts

Cherry Street and Manhattan Bridge

"New York is incarnated by Manhattan (the other boroughs, noble, useful and significant though they may be, are merely adjuncts)."
Luc Sante, Low Life

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Place to Get Over Anything

Central Park

"If Paris is the setting for romance, New York is the perfect city in which to get over one, to get over anything."
Cyril Connolly, Cyril Connolly: A Life

Saturday, February 5, 2011


West 40th

"New York has more commissioners than Des Moines, Iowa, has residents, including the Commissioner for Making Sure the Sidewalks Are Always Blocked by Steaming Fetid Mounds of Garbage the Size of Appalachian Foothills, and, of course, the Commissioner for Bicycle Messengers Bearing Down on You at Warp Speed with Mohawk Haircuts and Pupils Purely Theoretical Particles."
Dave Barry, The World According to Dave Barry

Friday, February 4, 2011

All Exits

Major Deegan Expressway 

"The Bronx is all exits and no entrances. If there's a place that has 'departure' written all over it, it's the Bronx."
Michael Pearson, Shohola Falls

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Forward Building

"New York kept going forward precisely because it didn’t give a good goddamn about what it had left behind. It was like the city that Lot left, and it would dissolve if it ever began looking backward over its own shoulder. Two pillars of salt. Long Island and New Jersey."
Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Great Times and Tall Deeds

Grand Central Terminal

"No matter where you sit in New York you feel the vibrations of great times and tall deeds."
E.B. White, Essays of E. B. White

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Particularly Cold

Sara Delano Roosevelt Park

"It was a particularly cold winter in New York. It always seemed to be particularly cold in New York."
Kinky Friedman, Ten Little New Yorkers