View Full Version : Quotes on New York City
August 1st, 2004, 10:00 PM
"A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe."
- Le Corbusier
In New York freedom looks like too many choices
In New York I found a friend to drown out the other voices
Voices on the cell phone
Voices from home
Voices of the hard sell
Voices down the stairwell
In New York, just got a place in New York
- U2, "New York"
"Skyscraper national park."
- Kurt Vonnegut
"Manhattan has been compelled to expand skyward because of the absence of any other direction in which to grow. This, more than any other thing, is responsible for its physical majesty. It is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village – the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up."
- E.B. White
"There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless."
- Simone de Beauvois
It comes down to reality, and it's fine with me 'cause I've let it slide
I don't care if it's Chinatown or on Riverside
I don't have any reasons
I left them all behind
I'm in a New York state of mind
- Billy Joel, "New York State Of Mind"
"I love this town!"
- Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore, last line from Ghostbusters
New Jack City
August 2nd, 2004, 10:15 PM
Thanks for those, they're always interesting to read.
I found some more...
"It can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky."
-- Here Is New York
"It is a miracle that New York works at all. The whole thing is implausible."
-- Here Is New York
"No one has ever seen the skyline of the city from Brooklyn Bridge as I saw it that morning with three hit notices under my arm."
-- Act One
"New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four. It is by all odds the loftiest of cities. It even managed to reach the highest point in the sky at the lowest moment of the depression."
-- Here Is New York
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
Ah! some love Paris,
And some Purdue.
But love is an archer with a low I.Q.
A bold, bad bowman, and innocent of pity.
So I'm in love with
New York City.
- - - Phyllis McGinley "A Kind of Love Letter to New York"
August 12th, 2004, 07:39 AM
Americans NEED New York, because New York is one of the few places in the country that allows difference to be celebrated, & allows people to reach their full potential" -Kenneth Jackson
"If you think of the great cities of history, Athens is glory, Rome is granduer & power, lets say Paris is culture... Well what is New York? New York is a home. People from all over the world could come here and feel a sense of belonging" -Robert Caro
August 12th, 2004, 04:08 PM
"Steel In The Sky By 2006."
Wow, I love this phrase. Check out the whole article at www.nyt.com
September 2nd, 2004, 08:04 PM
I'll go a bit beyond a quote:
New York is the concentrate of art and commerce and sport and religion and entertainment and finance, bringing to a single compact arena the gladiator, the evangelist, the promoter, the actor, the trader and the merchant. It carries on its lapel the unexpungeable odor of the long past, so that no matter where you sit in New York you feel the vibrations of great times and tall deeds, of queer people and events and undertakings.
New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four. It is by all odds the loftiest of cities.
-- E.B. White, This is New York
Novelist and essayist E.B. White wrote the words above more than 50 years ago, but his characterization of New York remains accurate today. And though the grandeur and importance of New York has not changed, the city is in a constant state of flux. Restaurants and nightclubs become trendy overnight, and then die under the weight of their own popularity. (Yogi Berra had the perfect comment for that very phenomenon: "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.") Broadway shows, exercise fads, city politics, even neighborhoods are all subject to the same Big Apple fickleness.
But within this ebb and flow lies the answer to why we New Yorkers persist in loving our city so much, despite the high rents, the noise, the crowds, the cab drivers who don't know Lincoln Center from the Lower East Side, and the more stark realities of high-security-alert days and living in the shadow of great tragedy. Nowhere else is the challenge so tough, the pace so relentless, the stimuli so ever-changing and insistent -- and the payoff so rewarding. It is why we go on; it is why we proudly persist in living our vibrant lives here.
Come witness New York's astonishing resilience for yourself -- it's reason enough to visit.
Immensity, diversity, and a tradition of defying tradition characterize the city known as the "Crossroads of the World." Since its earliest days, New York has scoffed at the timid offerings of other American cities. It boasts the most immigrants, the tallest skyscrapers, the biggest museum in the Western Hemisphere, and plenty of large landfills. Even the vast blocks of concrete have their own gritty charm. Returning from a dull vacation in Westchester, talespinner O. Henry noted, "there was too much fresh scenery and fresh air. What I need is a steam-heated flat and no vacation or exercise."
New York City teems with action. The stars are invisible behind the array of lights. The buildings soar, the subways scream, the people scramble. All is rushed. There may be grime, but for every inch of it, there's a yard of silver lining. Countless people mean countless pockets of culture---you can find every kind of culture, food, art, language, attitude. It's possible to be alone, but that's not the point---plunge into the fray and you'll find eight million stories, curmudgeonly humor, innovative ideas, and a fair share of madness. Meanwhile, there's flamenco at an outdoor cafe, jazz in historic speakeasies, house and techno in a flashy club. Whatever the question, New York has the answer.
September 2nd, 2004, 08:12 PM
They don't come any bigger than the Big Apple - king of the hill, top of the heap, New York, New York. It's got its fair share of the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses, but it also has world-class museums, big statues, even bigger buildings, outrageous excess, and a whole lot of whooo-wheee!
New York is a densely packed mass of humanity and all this living on top of one another makes the New Yorker a special kind of person. It's hard to put a finger on what makes the place buzz so hard, but the city's hyperactive rush keeps drawing more and more people to it.
In a city that is so much a part of the global subconscious, it's pretty hard to pick a few highlights - wherever you go you'll feel like you've been there before. For iconic value, you can't surpass the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park and Times Square. The Museum of Modern Art is one of the world's top museums, and the Guggenheim Museum and American Museum of Natural History aren't far behind. Bookshops, food, theatre, shopping, people: it doesn't really matter what you do or where you go in New York because the city itself is an in-your-face, exhilarating experience.
September 2nd, 2004, 11:20 PM
GVNY, I've visited New York City once (can't wait to get back!), and I agree with you! :okay: Big Mac, I hope you won't mind that this isn't a quote - I'll try to post some later:
That mighty skyline is the American dream given physical form. Walking through Midtown on a sunny day, between the soaring towers dancing in the light, is downright inspiring; I almost felt as if I could soar from the pavement and dance with the light, myself. And I don't think I've ever been anywhere that's so alive, so bursting with energy - "this gigantic engine of a city that never sleeps" (Hey! I remembered a quote!! this is from Lucianne Goldberg, of http://www.lucianne.com from 9/12/01 or thereabouts)
I could go on and on - Broadway musicals, the view from the top of the Empire State, the Chrysler (simply the most joyous skyscraper ever built), the Empire State herself, the shopping, the friendly folks we found who were proud of their city and glad to share it with us wide-eyed tourists...
I feel connected to NYC somehow, more than anywhere else I've ever visited. Silly perhaps, since my folks all seem to have headed for the Midwest as soon as they got off the ship, more than a century ago. But I still feel a little lump in my throat whenever I hear "the Sidewalks of New York" or "Give My Regards to Broadway"....
September 3rd, 2004, 01:44 AM
Good finds! Not at all, Liz L...if it's about NYC, it's in the right place. :)
September 3rd, 2004, 02:40 AM
"It doesn't make sense for you to compete against this New York vibe that gets your whole body tense"
"I doubt there is anyplace more complex, you can get lost in the sauce, New York'll have you vexed"
"Bright lights, big city and the dark alleyways, New York, we get the money all day, everyday"
"It's true, if you can make it out here, you can make it anywhere. That means a lot of rappers, they should stay away from here"
"From the streets, Medina, Manhattan, Staten, P-Lawn, the struggle continues, everybody wants to be on the rat race, makes this lifestyle fast paced"
"They wanna shut us down and I say 'Shut up clown!', cause New York is too corrupt and too tough to lay down"
If you love New York, download this song (even if you hate hate hip hop/rap).
April 13th, 2005, 05:22 PM
I came across this one and had to make it my sig:
"And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will."
- Ezra Pound
"If there ever was an aviary overstocked with jays it is that Yaptown-on-the-Hudson, call New York. Cosmopolitan they call it, you bet. So's a piece of fly-paper. You listen close when they're buzzing and trying to pull their feet out of the sticky stuff. 'Little old New York's good enough for us'--that's what they sing."
- O. Henry
"Some day this old Broadway shall climb to the skies,
As a ribbon of cloud on a soul-wind shall rise,
And we shall be lifted, rejoicing by night,
Till we join with the planets who choir their delight,
The signs in the streets and the signs in the skies
Shall make a new Zodiac, guiding the wise,
And Broadway make one with that marvelous stair
That is climbed by the rainbow-clad spirits of prayer."
- Nicholas Vachel Lindsay
"Up in the heights of the evening skies I see my City of Cities float
In sunset's golden and crimson dyes: I look and a great joy clutches my throat! Plateau of roofs by canyons crossed: windows by thousands fire-furled--
O gazing, how the heart is lost in the Deepest City in the World."
- James Oppenheim
"Stream of the living world Where dash the billows of strife!--
One plunge in the mighty torrent Is a year of tamer life!
City of glorious days, Of hope, and labour and mirth,
With room and to spare, on thy splendid bays For the ships of all the earth!"
- Richard Watson Gilder
April 18th, 2005, 04:23 AM
"New Yorkers think they're so much better then everybody else. They think they're the kings of basketball." - Reggie Miller
"Nobody likes New York. They may say they do, but nobody likes them. I felt like I was doing a favor to the nation." - Reggie Miller
January 27th, 2006, 06:06 PM
From novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand:
"I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body."
January 27th, 2006, 06:33 PM
^That's a great quote, and there's some truth in it.
February 3rd, 2006, 03:05 AM
Hmm...Had the Pacers just lost to the Knicks when Reggie made those comments, ADL? :D
February 3rd, 2006, 05:05 AM
You feel in New York City the energy coming up out of the sidewalks; you know that you are in the midst of something tremendous, and if something tremendous hasn't yet happened, its just about to." -Brendan Gill
"It doesn't make sense, for you to compete against/ This New York vibe that gets your whole body tense" -Guru from Gang Starr
^^I know thats been said already, but it kicksass
February 3rd, 2006, 05:27 AM
New York New York, big city of dreams
And everything in New York ain't always what it seems
You might get fooled if you come from out of town
But I'm down by law and I know my way around
Too much, too many people, too much (aha-ha)
Too much, too many people, too much, Raaah!
A castle in the sky, one mile high
Built to shelter the rich and greedy
Rows of eyes, disguised as windows
Looking down on the poor and the needy
Miles of people, marching up the avenue
Doin’ what they gotta do, just to get by
I'm living in the land of plenty and many
But I'm damn sure poor and I don't know why
Staring at a skyscraper reaching into heaven
When over in the ghetto I'm livin in hell
Just play ball or be an entertainer
’Cause *****z like me can't read too well
Nobody loves me, nobody cares
I dreamed about a life but I'm livin in a nightmare
- Grandmaster Flash, "New York New York"
March 11th, 2006, 01:30 AM
Ironically Guru from Gangstarr is actually from Boston.
March 22nd, 2006, 06:38 PM
"New York is the supreme laboratory of modern life." — Ric Burns, filmmaker
"The wealth of the world has a New York address. It piles up in buildings on land that is laced with gold. The city is advertised as changing, but in some ways it really has not. [NYC] is driven by the same fierce energy that coursed through those tenement hallways of old. There are all those people crowded together, brushing against each other, causing the blood to run so fast. Those people are the most powerful people on Earth—in its most powerful city." - Jimmy Breslin