Friday, June 30, 2017



"The cursing: in New York City, summer is the season of bad language. It shouts at you from propped-up windows, it hangs on gold chains out of cars, it lingers at phone booths, peep booths, in every standing line for movies and museums and methadone."
Chang-rae Lee, Native Speaker

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Morningside Heights

"These encounters were in the true New York style, full of goodwill that entailed no intimacy and promised no friendship."
Cheryl Mendelson, Morningside Heights

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

No City for Poor People

Fifth Avenue

"New York—this is no city for poor people. Their presence ruins everything, everything. Dread—that is the noxious air around them. The rich in their pyramids have a nice time. All the objects of eternity are at hand, lest they down the years need something remembered or forgotten."
Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Union Square (Wikimedia Commons)

"When you're alone, and life is making you lonely
You can always go 
When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?"
Petula Clark, Downtown

Monday, June 26, 2017

Your Own Man

Washington Square Park (Matthew Jesuele / Wikimedia Commons)

"In New York you felt you were no different from anybody else; you were your own man; you were free. At any given minute you could decide to navigate your way up Fifth Avenue to regard shiny luxury watches in shop windows, eat a kosher hot dog on Central Park South, or read Intro to Sociology at an outdoor cafĂ© off Christopher. And sure, independence had its dark dimensions, its lonely frequented loci, like a scarred green bench in the northwest corner of Washington Square where nobody sought you out."
H.M. Naqvi, Home Boy

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Golden Eggs

"When you walked along Fifth Avenue and you looked up at those towers, you felt like any one of them might lead you to the hen that laid the golden eggs."
Amor Towles, Rules of Civility

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Traumatized People

East New York (Wikipedia)

"Everyone here is broke. That's the norm here. Living in shitty Brooklyn is not the exception, you know? And here, no one really judges you. Maybe New York is good for traumatized, fucked-up people, because you don’t have time to think of yourself. There is always something going on."
Loubna Mrie, The Village Voice

Friday, June 23, 2017

No History

"This was a New York expression: not where did you meet, but how do you know. Histories don't matter, but connections do. Nobody in New York has a history. But you might be somebody important, right now."
Kelly Braffet, Josie and Jack

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Modern Babylon

Midtown (Photo: Pixabay)

"Once I had eaten of the Big Apple, there was no going back. New York was the modern Babylon, a whole new speed and attitude."
Peter Swales, quoted in Rolling Stone

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Brooklyn Patriot

"I am a patriot — of the 14th Ward in Brooklyn, where I was raised. The rest of the United States doesn't exist for me, except as idea, or history, or literature."
Henry Miller, The Henry Miller Reader

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fetid Richness

"It's what he loves about New York—you want it, it's there. The sweet, fetid richness of this city. He never really got it until he left his Irish-Italian blue-collar, cop-fireman Staten Island ghetto and moved to the city. You hear five languages walking a single street, smell six cultures, hear seven kinds of music, see a hundred kinds of people, a thousand stories and it's all New York."
Don Winslow, The Force

Monday, June 19, 2017

Shrines and Reenactments

"Maybe spending so much time at the Met had something to do with why the city also seemed like an exhibit, or maybe that's just what Manhattan is—a bunch of shrines and reenactments. I'd overhear conversations about what this building used to be or who used to live in that place or what it was before it was whatever it was. (It always used to be something better.)"
Catherine Lacey, The Answers

Sunday, June 18, 2017

One of Us

Book Culture

"Look, you know that New York City is tough—and I'm sure that any number of people with fewer advantages than this affluent white male could tell you just how tough it can be—but at the heart of it is an idea that's as American as it gets: If you can put up with this fucking town, then whatever else you are, you're one of us."
Owen King, Never Can Say Goodbye

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Why New York City is Not America

"Why New York City is not America: Because not everyone has a gun or thinks they need one, because the industrial smog that wafts over from New Jersey creates a sunset I want to lick off the sky, because people live in the subway, because some of the homeless live better than housed people in other cities.  Because people don't wish you 'God bless,' because God would feel uncomfortable among the godless skyscrapers of Manhattan."
Daniel Allen Cox, Shuck

Friday, June 16, 2017

Carnival of Stupidity

"New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign."
Alec Baldwin, quoted in People Magazine

Thursday, June 15, 2017


"Not everyone awake at this hour is an insomniac. The city is alive with doormen, delivery boys on bikes, street sweepers, homeless people, hustlers, prep cooks popping up out of trap doors in the sidewalk. I make a point of waving  or nodding hello when I can. I have come to believe that kindness is repaid in unexpected ways and that if you are lonely or bonetired or blue, you need only come down from your perch and step outside. New York—which is to say, New Yorkers—will take care of you.
Bill Hayes, Insomniac City

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New York Obsession

East Village

"She was obsessed with seeing other people's apartments in the way that every New Yorker was always obsessed with seeing other people's apartments. Sometimes it was reassuring to see places smaller than hers. In those cases she was always intrigued by the concessions New Yorkers made: garment racks instead of closets, a desk under a lofted bed, a fireplace that had been retrofitted as a bookcase. But she really lived for moments when she somehow ended up inside apartments that offered a vision of a New York that seemed like it would forever be completely out of her reach."
Doree Shafrir, Startup

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Living in New York City

East 34th Street ferry landing

"Here's the thing about living in New York City: There are people stretched around the block, ready to tell you what the thing is about living in New York City. But those people don't live here. They live in an idea of what they want the city to be. It ends up defining them before they have the chance to define their own experience."
Rob Hart, New Yorked

Monday, June 12, 2017

Low-Budget Production

Film trailers on the Lower East Side

"In New York, sometimes, to walk around the streets and the nightclubs feels like being in a movie. The same actors keep reappearing, in different locations. The whole business is a low-budget production."
Tama Janowitz, Slaves of New York

Sunday, June 11, 2017


"It wasn't until I got to New York that I became Kansan. Everyone there kept reminding me that they were Jewish or Irish, or whatever, so I kept reminding them that I was mid-western. Before I knew it, I actually began to brag about being from Kansas!"
William Inge, quoted in The Transatlantic Review

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Southern View

"New York City itself is full of beauty the view from Castle Garden would suffice to show ; and by night it is not less lovely than by day. The harbor is illuminated by the colored lanterns of a thousand boats, and the steam-whistles tell of a life that never sleeps. The paddles of the steamers seem not only to beat the water, but to stir the languid air and so provoke a breeze, and the lime-lights at the Fulton and Wall Street ferries burn so brightly that in  the warm glare the eye reaches through the still night to the feathery acacias in the streets of Brooklyn. The view is as southern as the people : we have not yet found America."
Charles Wentworth Dilke, Greater Britain

Friday, June 9, 2017


"To assure himself that New York is beautiful, the pedestrian must crane his neck in crowded streets, and perhaps doubt still remains. From the highest windows, New York can be seen at her most magical when, as James Pope-Hennessy has said, the lighted skyscrapers at night are like sticks of Elizabethan jewellery."
Cecil Beaton, Portrait of New York

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Miss NY

"I saw a license plate yesterday that said 'I Miss New York,' so I smashed their window and stole their radio."
Craig Anton, Comedy Central

Wednesday, June 7, 2017



"New Yorkers are shockingly local—if it's not available within a three-block radius, it simply no longer exists. We like to walk everywhere, even subway rides are inconvenient. I once overheard a man in a coffee shop refer to his girlfriend as a 'long-distance relationship' because she lived on the Upper East Side and he lived in the Village. There were just too many train connections. You can forget anyone who commutes in from Jersey. Brooklyn and Manhattan are like different states."
Kate Moretti, The Vanishing Year

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


"New York ain't got nothing Chicago ain't, except a bunch of hustling people all squeezed up together— being 'Eastern!'"
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

Monday, June 5, 2017

New York Veins

Fifth Avenue (Wikimedia Commons)

"Everyone everywhere had already told me that it wasn't really New York anymore, that nothing was as good as it used to be and that it wouldn't ever be again. That all the magnetism and perfect ugliness had been sucked then squeezed out through over-tapped, collapsed veins, which were, in a slow panic, injected instead with money and inhumanity."
Selin Thomas, The Village Voice

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Place of Worship

Third Avenue

"I whispered prayers of thanks that I was really and truly here in New York, beginning another life. I worshipped the place. I feasted on every beautiful inch of it—the crowds, the fruit and vegetable stands, the miles of pavement, the graffiti, even the garbage. All of it sent me into paroxysms of joy."
Siri Hustvedt, A Plea for Eros

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Store on Fifth Avenue

"It's the intimidation, the competition, the pace, struggle and ultimately the growing glimmer of success that make this city like no other drug out there. It isn't for everyone, and if it isn't for you, there is no point trying to explain New York. But for the rest of us who brave the streets and all the shit that comes along with it, there isn't a better place in the world."
Greg Jacobs, The Huffington Post

Friday, June 2, 2017

New York From Afar

View from Williamsburg

"New York is confusing to me. I love the Velvet Underground's take, and Woody Allen's grainy Manhattan, the New York City of the seventies. That town can have hundreds of personalities—not the people, the town itself. I like it better from afar, but I'm always thankful it exists."
Jack White, quoted in Meet Me in the Bathroom

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Too Large

"The only trouble about this town is, that it is too large. You cannot accomplish anything in the way of business, you cannot even pay a friendly call, without devoting a whole day to it."
Mark Twain, The Quotable Mark Twain