Here is New York

by E. B. White

Other authorsRoger Angell (Introduction)
Hardcover, 1999

Status

Available

Publication

New York : Little Bookroom, c1999.

Description

Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, E.B. White's stroll around Manhattan remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America's foremost literary figures. The New York Times has named Here is New York one of the ten best books ever written about the metropolis, and The New Yorker calls it "the wittiest essay, and one of the most perceptive, ever done on the city.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bookworm12
I read this in the week leading up to my first trip to New York City last year. I loved it, then I visited the city and I loved the book even more. It's amazing to me that someone could so perfectly capture the magic of that city and write about it in a way that still rings true 60 years later.

The author, famous for his children's books, Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, was living in the city in 1948 when he wrote the slim book. White understood that despite being filled with people, NYC can be a lonely place. It gives its inhabitants privacy and anonymity in the midst of its bustling streets. It somehow allows you to feel connected and disconnected at the same time.

I love how White talks about both the city as a whole and the diverse neighborhoods that make up the city. He saw the beauty of the pockets of familiarity within the intimidating beast. He embraced the paradoxes within New York, parks and pavement, rich and poor.

The essay is a glowing love letter to the city of New York, but there are elements that ring true for any city. The attachment a person can feel for a place, the unique personality a city has, etc. Pick it up before your next trek to the Big Apple or really anytime.
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LibraryThing member madamepince
An amazing reflection on New York by a former citizen; an essay about the reasons why those of us yearn towards the city and why we eventually leave. Even more amazingly, in 1949 White writes of the city's vulnerability to attack by planes that foreshadows 9-11. As someone who lived in New York for 16 years and returned only once for a visit, White captures the longing for the New York we experienced when we arrived fresh and hopeful and the sadness upon realizing it can't be recaptured any more than our youth.… (more)
LibraryThing member Faradaydon
Brief, but breathtakingly brilliant
LibraryThing member Y2Ash
E.B. White paints the perfect picture of New York City. Akin to Kerouac did describing the Beat Community in the 1950's in On the Road, I felt the nostalgia for times I was never a part of. There was a quiet wistfulness in his prose. There was one paragraph where White talks about New York's destructibility that was prophetic, creepily so.

I loved it. My only complaint was the length. It was far too short. It only contributes to dream like quality.
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LibraryThing member Y2Ash
E.B. White paints the perfect picture of New York City. Akin to Kerouac did describing the Beat Community in the 1950's in On the Road, I felt the nostalgia for times I was never a part of. There was a quiet wistfulness in his prose. There was one paragraph where White talks about New York's destructibility that was prophetic, creepily so.

I loved it. My only complaint was the length. It was far too short. It only contributes to dream like quality.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Y2Ash
E.B. White paints the perfect picture of New York City. Akin to Kerouac did describing the Beat Community in the 1950's in On the Road, I felt the nostalgia for times I was never a part of. There was a quiet wistfulness in his prose. There was one paragraph where White talks about New York's destructibility that was prophetic, creepily so.

I loved it. My only complaint was the length. It was far too short. It only contributes to dream like quality.
… (more)
LibraryThing member MartinBodek
Exquisite, nearly all-encompassing, vibrant, and truthful.
LibraryThing member eachurch
E.B. White writing about New York at the end of the 1940s; what could be better? The last few pages are absolutely chilling.
LibraryThing member alanteder
Lovely Nostalgic Essay with a Chilling Closing
Review of the Audible Audio edition (2016) of the original essay Here Is New York (1948 Holiday magazine/1949 hardcover) including a 1999 Introduction by Roger Angell

This is primarily a lovely quaint memoir of how New York City was changing in the late 1940s compared to when essayist E.B. White first came to work in the city in the 1920s. You wonder about how he would feel about it in the 2000s if it already seemed chaotic in those years. That all changes towards the end (about 5 minutes before the end in the audio version) when he speculates (in 1948, World War II would have still been a very recent memory) about how "the city...is destructible", "a single flight of planes... can end this island fantasy, burn the towers", and "in the mind of whatever perverted dreamer, might loose the lightning."

The narration by Malcolm Hillgartner was excellent.
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LibraryThing member MinaIsham
-- This slim book is a classic. It can be read in one sitting. --

Language

Barcode

10798
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