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

Fifth Avenue

"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 Hustvedt, Yonder

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

Tourist brochures in Columbus Circle

"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


Downtown Manhattan seen from the Staten Island Ferry

"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


Hell's Kitchen

"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


East 13th Street

"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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Reasons to Love New York

Apartment building in East Harlem

"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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Cultural Prestige

David Geffen Hall

"The problem is not only that New York is expensive. Many places are expensive. The problem, rather, is that New York has granted money a most undeserved cultural prestige. There used to be glamour in being brilliant but broke. No more. If you're broke, you lack local ontology. The streets of Manhattan now remind me, almost every time I traverse them, of what the streets of London said to one of Jean Rhys's crushed heroines: 'Get money, get money, get money, or forever be damned.'"
Patrick Douglas, East Coast/West Coast

Monday, March 6, 2017


Met Museum

"I think there's no city quite like New York, and I've seen most of the developed cities of the world. I admire this place, its energy. It's the repository of so much history and culture and diversity. I think New York City most represents what it is that America in general aspires to."
Harry Belafonte, New York Times

Sunday, March 5, 2017


"Whatever any other city has, New York has more of; be it gay or sad, good or criminal, plain or fancy."
Warren Moscow, What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Supervising Giants

"Once New York had been the very definition of a city to me, offering freedom to roam, create, become, befriend, fuck, but in adulthood it made me anxious, claustrophobic. The long, long avenues, the tall buildings leaning in, like supervising giants; how can you wander on a grid?"
Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse

Friday, March 3, 2017


"When you're in Manhattan, if you're in a taxi or a car, any pedestrian or biker is automatically an asshole. They're in the way, everything they do is wrong. As soon as you're walking, every bicycle or car is horribly dangerous and trying to kill you. As soon as you’re a biker, it's like, 'Get these pedestrians out of the streets and stop opening your taxi doors in the middle of the road!' No matter what the mode of transportation is, it's always wrong, and you're always right. And that's why I love this city. That’s why I love New York."
Natasha Lyonne, Metro

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Second Home


"New York is the ultimate city, the capital of the modern world. It's been mythologised as Metropolis and Gotham City, the iconic silhouette of its skyline is ingrained in memories across the world. The steam rising from under manhole covers, yellow taxis with horns blaring, skyscrapers rising up in every direction, with streetwise guys and hip girls on the street corners. A myriad TV shows and countless movies have made the city seem like the entire human race's second home."
Rob Jovanovic, Seeing the Light: Inside the Velvet Underground

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Superiority Complex

Times Square subway station

"See, here's the problem with New Yorkers. You've all got a superiority complex, and sooner or later, you've got to get over it, or you'll find you can't function in the outside world."
Rob Heart, City of Rose