It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.
AGATHA CHRISTIE, Life magazine, May 14, 1956
There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, America Day by Day
The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendour that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.
AYN RAND, The Virtue of Selfishness
New York ... is a city of geometric heights, a petrified desert of grids and lattices, an inferno of greenish abstraction under a flat sky, a real Metropolis from which man is absent by his very accumulation.
ROLAND BARTHES, In the Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies
My hair is always at its best in New York. I don't know what's in the water. It could be mousse.
ELLEN DEGENERES, TV Guide, Nov. 21-27, 2005
If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.
PETER SHAFFER, New York Times, Apr. 13, 1975
In New York, we're out of road salt. So for the next big storm they have to use parmesan cheese.
DAVID LETTERMAN, Late Show with David Letterman, Oct. 31, 2011
Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.
ANGELA CARTER, New Society
This fair but pitiless city of Manhattan was without a soul ... its inhabitants were manikins moved by wires and springs.
O. HENRY, "The Making of a New Yorker"
New York now leads the world's great cities in the number of people around whom you shouldn't make a sudden move.
DAVID LETTERMAN, Late Show with David Letterman, Feb. 9, 1984
- I’m laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone,
- Going home, where the new york city winters aren’t bleedin’ me.
- New York, you got money on your mind
- And my words won't make a dime's worth a difference, so here's to you New York.
ART GARFUNKEL, A Heart in New York
New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit. A constant ferment, but it might just as well be going on in a test tube. Nobody knows what it's all about. Nobody directs the energy. Stupendous. Bizarre. Baffling. A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.
HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer
I love autumn in New York City: The yellows, the browns, and the rust and that’s just the drinking water.... Here in New York City, the leaves turn and run.
DAVID LETTERMAN, Late Show with David Letterman, Sep. 7, 2011
In New York you've got to have all the luck.
CHARLES BUKOWSKI, Notes of a Dirty Old Man
New York City subways are now getting high speed Internet. How about some high speed subway trains?
DAVID LETTERMAN, Late Show with David Letterman, Jul. 27, 2011
In New York freedom looks like too many choices.
New York is like a big dinner party. You have to be very careful about what you say and do because you never know whose feet are touching under the table.
SUSANNA MOORE, In the Cut
- Old New York City is a friendly old town
- From Washington Heights to Harlem on down
- There’s a-mighty many people all millin’ all around
- They’ll kick you when you’re up and knock you when you’re down
- It’s hard times in the city
- Livin’ down in New York town
BOB DYLAN, "Hard Times in New York Town"
Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.
JOHNNY CARSON, The Tonight Show
I was in love with New York. I do not mean "love" in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later.
JOAN DIDION, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
New York is the capital, the national headquarters of homelessness.... No one feels he belongs here.
GERALD STANLEY LEE, The House of Twenty Seven Gardens
New York is not even a city, it's a congerie of rotten villages.
JAMES M. CAIN, The Paris Review, spring-summer 1978
I became disenchanted with New York when I realized that I felt as if I had accomplished something when I picked up the laundry and got the Times and a quart of milk. I spent a lot of time worrying about alternate-side parking. I lived on the fourth floor of a brownstone. If I had messed up and hadn’t jockeyed my car to the right side of the street for the next day and somebody moved their car at four o’clock in the morning, it was an automatic response, in winter or summer, maybe I put my slippers on, but I would run down in my pajamas and get that place. All of a sudden I thought, This is absolutely ridiculous.
ANN BEATTIE, The Paris Review, spring 2011
New York looked like painted sets in a sideshow at a carnival where the bearded lady, sword- swallowers, snake charmers, and magicians make their appearances.
CHARLES SIMIC, The Paris Review, spring 2005
It's autumn in New York. The colors are changing yellow, the browns, the greens, the oranges. And that's just the tap water.
DAVID LETTERMAN, Late Show with David Letterman, Sep. 6, 2012
New York! The white prisons, the sidewalks swarming with maggots, the breadlines, the opium joints that are built like palaces, the kikes that are there, the lepers, the thugs, and above all, the ennui, the monotony of faces, streets, legs, houses, skyscrapers, meals, posters, jobs, crimes, loves ... A whole city erected over a hollow pit of nothingness.
HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer