10 Literary Quotes About NYC That Will Melt Your Heart

Rob Grams Rob Grams

10 Literary Quotes About NYC That Will Melt Your Heart

New York is a powerful place, a romantic place, and a memorable place, so it’s no wonder it’s often the setting or the subject of so much great literature. Here are the 10 best literary quotes about NYC:


1. From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”


2. From Here Is New York by E.B. White:

“By comparison with other less hectic days, the city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience—if they did they would live elsewhere.”


3. From Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote:

“I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.”


[Patricio Gonzalez/Flickr]
[Patricio Gonzalez/Flickr]

4. From Heartburn by Nora Ephron:

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.”


5. From Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut:

“So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn’t like my parents. I didn’t have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. Nowhere has the number zero been of more philosophical value than in the United States….and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with it’s lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.”


6. From “City of Orgies” by Walt Whitman:

“…as I pass O Manhattan, your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own—these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.”


[Anthony Quintano/Flickr]
[Anthony Quintano/Flickr]

7. From America and Americans by John Steinbeck:

“New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it: once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.”


8. From Of Time and the River by Thomas Wolfe:

“In New York the opportunities for learning, and acquiring a culture that shall not come out of the ruins, but belong to life, are probably greater than anywhere else in the world.”


9. From Midstream: My Later Life by Helen Keller:

“Cut off as I am, it is inevitable that I should sometimes feel like a shadow walking in a shadowy world. When this happens I ask to be taken to New York City. Always I return home weary but I have the comforting certainty that mankind is real flesh and I myself am not a dream.”


10. From “Goodbye To All That” by Joan Didion:

“Quite simply, 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.”


Featured image source [Wikimedia Commons]