Wednesday, January 31, 2018

American Heart

"Window to the Heart" in Times Square

"New York! Well! There is no doubt that New York is the heart of the United States, that the different states are its arteries, that the issue of its ventricles gives the prevalent tone throughout the western continent, and that therefore the pulse of this mighty republic is influenced, if not indeed governed by its action."
Maturin Murray Ballou, The Turkish Spies Ali Abubeker Kaled, and Zenobia Marrita 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Under Siege

"New York—this hard nipple of the New World. In lush times and mean, it's a city under siege, as much from within as from without—hence chaffed, even bloody; alternatively calloused and to all appearances, unfeeling. And yet, for all of the bluster and confidence it exudes, New York is finally just one long swath of concrete and asphalt, none of which feels pain or delight, exaltation or misery, surfeit or hunger. "
Russell Bittner, Trompe-l'oeil

Monday, January 29, 2018

Good and Evil

"If New York is a city of contrasts, it is because it is a little world in itself, and must necessarily be made up of all the elements of good and evil."
Junius Henri Browne, The Great Metropolis

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mean Streets

"Grew up in a town,
That is famous as a place of movie scenes
Noise is always loud
There are sirens all around
And the streets are mean
If I could make it here
I could make it anywhere
That's what they say."
Alicia Keys, Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down

Saturday, January 27, 2018

New York Feeling

"Living in New York, you're always going to feel a little broke. You're always going to feel like an outsider. And you're always going to feel a little vulnerable."
Jim Gaffigan, The New York Times Magazine

Friday, January 26, 2018

Capitalist Spirit

Wall Street

"New York is the ultimate expression of the capitalist spirit. It is mirrored in its construction, its aspect, its atmosphere, all the characteristics of its form (or better, lack of form). The anarchy of the capitalist system is expressed in the stylistic mix-up of buildings, the planlessness of the city."
Edgar Bodenheimer, Edgar and Brigitte

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Gutter of the World

"There is no quiet in New York, there are no trees, no birds, only the skyscrapers forming avenues for scurrying, scavenging human beings. It was, I thought, the gutter of the world."
Braham Murray, The Worst It Can Be Is A Disaster

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New York Appeal

"New York has an irresistible appeal. It believes in itself and in its centrality as no other city does. And New Yorkers so convincingly propagate the view that nothing happens anywhere else that we tend to assume they must be right. 'If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere' is our slogan, so we'll cheerfully put up with any amount of misery to be part of it."
Alexander Chancellor, The Spectator

Tuesday, January 23, 2018



"In everything, New York is the city that is different. When considering Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, it is customary to speak of what their people think or are or do, but no one ever speaks thus of the people of New York, but only of the city itself. For the city is so much greater than its people ! With New York, the city makes the people; elsewhere, the people make the city."
Robert Shackleton, The Book of New York

Monday, January 22, 2018

East New York

"If you're a young man in East New York,
Here's a simple fact of life:
If they don't shoot you with a gun,
They'll cut you with a knife."
Cornelius Eady, Poems of New York

Sunday, January 21, 2018

City of Cities

Manhattan skyline

"New York is the city of cities, just as certainly as Fujiyama is the mountain of mountains, or the Salisbury the pub of pubs. And as mountain air is bracing, and West Country air relaxing, so New York air (what little there is of it) is the hormone treatment for worldliness."
Hugh Johnson, Hugh Johnson on Wine

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Wall Street Bull (Pixabay)

"Being from New York is currency; people automatically think you're interesting."
Douglas Marshall, Bravo TV

Friday, January 19, 2018


Morningside Heights

"New York is swell. It is swell on a cold wet night and it is swell on a cold clear dawn. It is swell with the cars coming fast toward you and it is swell down by the subway tracks, where the people come to gather and watch each other and wait. It is swell with the attractive denizens and with those who are not, including those, like you, who might once have been. It is swell with the shop lights and it is swell with its skyscrapers and acres of rubble and brilliant glass-strewn streets with everyone loving everything and moving through the haze of airborne particles saying fuck you."
Laird Hunt, The Exquisite

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Giant Sculpture

"New York is a giant sculpture where the streets are chiseled from rock, just like Michelangelo carving out a block of marble, and every human being is part of this sculpture."
Timothy Levitch, Getting the Whole Story

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


West 42nd

"New York is one big contradiction . . . the hustle and bustle of Times Square at mid-day . . . then the voiceless whisperings of young lovers as they clip-clop through Central Park in the moonlight. Horse drawn cabs being screamed at by blaring taxis."
Ian Cullen and Catherine Arley, Tantalus

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

First Home

Kent Avenue

"New York is my first home and always will be. Today it's dirty, squalid, and still more exhilarating than suicide."
George Baxt, quoted in The Murder Mystique

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sequined Skyline

"Brooklyn was wide open beneath them, Manhattan a visible fairy tale. And tonight the city was going for it, putting on a show like this was its last, the sky outdoing itself in flamingo pinks, all the tiny squares of steel and glass lit into glittering tiles, as if the whole skyline were sequined and shimmying."
Hermione Hoby, Neon in Daylight

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New York Pace

"The pace in New York is just a bit faster than anywhere else; there is an extra charge in the atmosphere, the horizons are broader."
Dilys Winn, Murderess Ink

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Place for Solitude

East River waterfront

"I wanted to be alone, and there is no better, and no worse, place for solitude than Manhattan. I loved every stupid street, every ugly face, every disgusting high-rise apartment building. I loved the old New York erupting from the past. I loved the New York pointing toward the future."
Jarett Kobek, The Future Won't Be Long

Friday, January 12, 2018

Familiar Sight

Crew shooting "Blue Bloods" on Riverside Drive

"I looked up through gritty eyes and there it was across the Brooklyn Bridge—Manhattan—shining like a million jagged shards of light; awe-inspiring, glossy, impossibly condensed and beautiful, a sight that was so familiar from television and films that I couldn't quite accept I was seeing it for real."
Jojo Moyes, Still Me

Thursday, January 11, 2018


New York Stock Exchange (Pixabay)

"What I found when I came to New York was an atmosphere of corruption. The only friend you have here is the money in your pocket."
Victor Martinez, quoted in Alicia Patterson Foundation Reporter

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Magnificent and Maddening

One World Trade Center (John DiLiberto / Pixabay)

"Visiting New York is supposed to not be an emotional experience, right? Manhattan doesn't 'do' feelings and yet, somehow, when you momentarily lose yourself in the crowded sidewalks or look up from your slice of damn-is-that-good pizza to see the mirrored mass of the Freedom Tower you do feel different than you would almost anyplace else. You may not be a movie star, but being in that New York state of mind means being a part of the most magnificent and maddening metropolis in the world and your provisional participation is part and parcel of the magic."
Anthony Grant, The Malibu Times

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Plodding and Busy

"New York appears to me outwardly a plodding and busy city, without beauty and interest. There are beautiful and quiet parts, with beautiful streets and dwellings ; but there the life in the streets is dead. On Broadway, again, there is an endless tumult and stir, crowd and bustle, and in the city proper people crowd as if for dear life, and the most detestable fumes poison the air."
Fredrika Bremer, The Homes of the New World

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Whole Point

Upper West Side

"I thought the whole point of New York City was not that if you made it here you could make it anywhere, but the tautology of making it, just existing in New York, meant you got to stay."
Zachary Lipez, Vice

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Good Name

"The privilege of leaving a good name is for villagers only. In a city like New York, a person's name often dies before him."
Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New York Types

North Williamsburg

"Man with goatee. Man who looked like a Beatle. All the Beatles at once. Woman wearing newspaper hat. I'd grown used to how weird New Yorkers were, and I could fit them into types."
Olivia Sudjic, Sympathy

Friday, January 5, 2018

All the Cities

"Gilded Cage" by Ai Weiwei

"New York is all the cities. The opinion city. The style city. The financial city. The radio city. The TV city. The cultural city. The immigrant's city. If, post-Copernicus, the geocentrist view could persist anywhere in the enlightened face of heliocentrism, it would be in cynosural New York, the dog's tail containing the North Star that is Manhattan Island."
Philip Kerr, The Shot

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Good Idea

Store in Chinatown

"One of the great delights of New York is its embrace of a good idea. You show up with a good idea or a talent, and New York will find a use for both."
Mary Ann Tighe, The Women Who Made New York

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Chrysler Building

"It was a city of iconic landmarks: The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, The Flatiron Building. The ultimate dream destination for many, and he understood that. Tourists arrived and immediately felt as if they were extras on a movie set. You saw them pointing it out. That's where they filmed Spiderman, or that's where Harry met Sally."
Sarah Morgan, Sunset in Central Park

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Chaotic Bigness

Hudson Yards

"One loves in New York its baroque difference from the classic cities, the blind chaotic surging of bigness of expression."
Claude McKay, A Long Way From Home

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Thing of Beauty

View from Top of the Rock

"The city itself, with its sharp edges and fiery colors, is a thing of beauty; especially seen from above, with Central Park startlingly green among the skyscrapers, with the tall towers of Wall Street hazy in the distance, with the two waterways blue and sunny and the long line of an Atlantic liner slipping away to sea. It is a majestic sight, with no Wordsworth at hand to honour it, only a man with a loudspeaker or a fifty-cent guide book."
Jan Morris, Coast to Coast