This is my first 50 Books post that is NOT Outlander. Wait, you read other written words besides Diana Gabaldon? Yes, yes I do. Just so far, it hasn't happened in 2014.
This book is so great on so many different levels. It's only 58 pages, so it took me less than 2 hours to finish. Even though it was written 50+ years ago, the sentiments about New York are still true, which really proves the point that New York is constantly changing, yet consistently the same. I wish I had this book when I first moved here, and had read it every 6 months after moving here. That said, this will remain a book I read every 6 months, or whenever I feel down or not excited by New York anymore. It completely reinvigorated my love for this City, and I'm so thankful it did.
Anyone who is currently living in New York, or is about to move to New York should definitely add this to your list of must have essentials for surviving this City. It's like E.B White went to the future, read my mind, knew my life situations and anticipated questions that I'd have to answer about living here, and then wrote a whole book about them.
Here's some of my favorite statements about New York that still ring true today, and to me:
"New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy"
"mention these merely to show that New York is peculiarly constructed to absorb almost anything that comes along (whether a thousand-foot liner out of the East or a twenty-thousand-man convention out of the West) without inflicting the event on its inhabitants; so that every event is, in a sense, optional, and the inhabitant is in the happy position of being able to choose his spectacle and so conserve his soul"
"I sometimes think that the only event that hits every New Yorker on the head is the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is fairly penetrating—the Irish are a hard race to tune out, there are 500,000 of them in"
"I think that although many persons are here from some excess of spirit (which caused them to break away from their small town), some, too, are here from a deficiency of spirit, who find in New York a protection, or an easy substitution"
"Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion"
"The oft-quoted thumbnail sketch of New York is, of course: “It’s a wonderful place, but I’d hate to live there.” I have an idea that people from villages and small towns, people accustomed to the convenience and the friendliness of neighborhood over-the-fence living, are unaware that life in New York follows the neighborhood pattern. The city is literally a composite of tens of thousands of tiny neighborhood units"
"life under difficulties, growth against odds, sap-rise in the midst of concrete, and the steady reaching for the sun"