On New York and New Yorkers

“No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.”
E.B. White

“It occurs to me that there are other towns. It occurs to me so violently that I say, at intervals, ‘Very well, if New York is going to be like this, I’m going to live somewhere else.’ And I do—that’s the funny part of it. But then one day there comes to me the sharp picture of New York at its best, on a shiny blue-and-white Autumn day with its buildings cut diagonally in halves of light and shadow, with its straight neat avenues colored with quick throngs, like confetti in a breeze. … So I go back. And it is always better than I thought it would be.”
Dorothy Parker

“It wasn’t until I got to New York that I became Kansan. Everyone there kept reminding me 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! I discovered I had something a bit unique, but it was the nature of New York that forced me to claim my past.”
William Inge

“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”
John Updike

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

“If you live in New York, even if you’re Catholic, you’re Jewish.”
Lenny Bruce

“As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.”
Pearl S. Buck

“Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.”
Albert Camus

“New York is the only real city-city.”
Truman Capote

“First New York was a sort of provincial capital, bigger and richer than Manchester or Marseilles, but not much different in its essential spirit. Then, after the war, it became one among half a dozen world cities. Today it has the appearance of standing alone, as the center of culture in the part of the world that still tries to be civilized.”
Malcolm Cowley

“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”
Simone De Beauvoir

“The thing that impressed me then as now about New York… was the sharp, and at the same time immense, contrast it showed between the dull and the shrewd, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the wise and the ignorant … the strong, or those who ultimately dominated, were so very strong, and the weak so very, very weak—and so very, very many.”
Theodore Dreiser

“New York is a different country. Maybe it ought to have a separate government. Everybody thinks differently, they just don’t know what the hell the rest of the United States is.”
Henry Ford

“New York remains what it has always been: a city of ebb and flow, a city of constant shifts of population and economics, a city of virtually no rest. It is harsh, dirty, and dangerous, it is whimsical and fanciful, it is beautiful and soaring—it is not one or another of these things but all of them, all at once, and to fail to accept this paradox is to deny the reality of city existence.”
Paul Goldberger

“In Rome I am weighted down by a lack of momentum, the inertia of a spent civilization. In New York I feel plugged into a strong alternating current of hope and despair.”
Ted Morgan

“When its 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When its 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.”
Neil Simon

“It isn’t like the rest of the country—it is like a nation itself—more tolerant than the rest in a curious way. Littleness gets swallowed up here. All the viciousness that makes other cities vicious is sucked up and absorbed in New York.”
John Steinbeck

“New York City is a great apartment hotel in which everyone lives and no one is at home.”
Glenway Wescott

“It is the desire of every American to see New York, the largest and most wonderful city in the Union.”
James D. McCabe, Jr.

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