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Here Is New York

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4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  4,154 Ratings  ·  450 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 58 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Little Bookroom (first published January 1st 1948)
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Stephanie
4 stars -- witty essay on the City that Never Sleeps... old, but remains relevant!

Here Is New York is an essay written by E.B. White, the author of great children's books such as Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. I have read and loved those, but was unaware that White authored material for adults.

I found this gem on Audible and greatly enjoyed it. The essay is described in many published reviews as "perceptive, funny, and nostalgic". I have to agree with that classification and couldn't expr
...more
PorshaJo
Oct 15, 2016 PorshaJo rated it really liked it
I have a fascination with NYC. It started as a small child, wanting to live there. I don't want to live there anymore but I try to visit as much as I can. This book is the perfect book to give me my fix. It's truly shows the authors love of New York. I've always felt New Yorkers were a different kind of person and this book brings that to life. It talks about all the odd, wonderful things that make NYC what it is. This is the authors love letter to New York.

Thanks to Stephanie for getting me to
...more
Duane
It's easy to see in these words Whites love for New York City. Although much has changed, many of the things he writes about still exist today. The diversity, a melding of races, nationalities, and languages, all co-existing in a mutual truce, and all held together by the common understanding that to do otherwise would be disaster.

4+ stars.
Alex
Mar 16, 2017 Alex rated it it was amazing
"On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy."

There's the first glorious sentence of the greatest New York book ever written. Yes, the competition is stiff, but this is it. You could underline this entire book, and I very nearly did.

I've lived in several cities, and come to the conclusion that they're all more or less alike. As homes for many different people, they must do many different things; there is no room for a city with
...more
Carla
Oct 11, 2007 Carla rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Don't tell New Yorkers I said so, but... I think I might like this book more than the city itself. Through E.B. White's eyes, NYC is a magical, romantic place. OK, OK--it is in real life too, but his words lend a certain amount of mystique that I haven't quite uncovered in the city itself. (Leave me alone. I'm a Bama girl and I like it.) I read the final pages of this book while sitting under a tree in Central Park, just as it started to rain. What could be better, seriously?!
Gregory
Sep 07, 2007 Gregory rated it it was amazing
Every time I read White's gorgeous love letter to New York City, I'm filled with nostalgia for my own town and I tend to wake the next day with a honed sense of observational candor. As many have noted in recent years, his heavy observation of NYC's vulnerability can be read almost as a prophesy of September 11, 2001, though this was written in 1949 when thoughts about the end of World War II and atomic bombs were still abundant:

The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible.
...more
Colie!
Jun 24, 2008 Colie! rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: New Yorkers, people who don't know why New York is the best city ever.
Recommended to Colie! by: Emma
What an amazing love letter to a city this is. This essay has got me pining to go back to New York, to set up shop and live in those cramped quarters with those hellish humid summers and subways (oh NOT to drive!!) And though this was written in 1949, when black people were still acceptably referred to as "Negros" and Prohibition was not so long ago, E.B. White still captures the soul of New York that has remained constant. Reading this book, though it refers to now obsolete neighborhoods that h ...more
Kate
May 02, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Here Is New York" is an essay E.B. White—yes, of Charlotte's Web fame—wrote in 1948 for Holiday, a long-since defunct travel magazine. The essay reads as you would expect up until its last few pages. White is crisp and concise, and, as far as essays go, "Here Is New York" is enjoyable.

It's interesting how few surprises there are throughout the essay, whether White is discussing his personal experiences of living in New York or about the tourist's, the outsider's, limited understanding of the c
...more
Julie
Nov 08, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing
I've had a mad crush on E.B. White my entire life, and his books have followed me like a frisky shadow throughout my childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

And now, I've found him here again, in my middle age and his middle age (circa 1948), each of us part-optimist, part-curmudgeon. . . arms not necessarily outstretched, but lovers of humanity both (as long as we're mostly shielded from it).

His assignment here? To leave the peace of his domesticated bliss in North Brooklin, Maine and return to N
...more
Todd Lukens
Jan 22, 2008 Todd Lukens rated it it was amazing
A must read for any New Yorker, New York visitor, or lover of the NYC.

The dude gets it right, even 50 years later.

E.B. White's "Here is New York" is a 56 page/7500 word essay about NY.

He begins the essay "On any person who desires such queeer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of lonliness and the gift of privacy." He talks about the fact that you have anonymity in NYC, and can be a hermit, but then are immersed in a concentrated center of cultures/activities/events/people/neighborhoods, th
...more
Sofija
Feb 23, 2016 Sofija rated it it was amazing
It's going to be so so so hard to leave this city. I think everyone feels this way when they leave New York. There has to be some sort of bittersweet relief to leave, combined with the knowing of impending, unavoidable nostalgia. I love this book and I am so glad that in 2016 it speaks to the New York experience. How truly perceptive E.B. White was and how well he captured the New York experience. A beautiful experience, both the city and the book.
Jill
Jun 27, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
"There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New Tork of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last - the ...more
Heidi
Dec 25, 2007 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I've reread this a couple of times since I moved to New York. Sometimes when I am walking around the city, I'll remember snippets of White's essay. Right now the most applicable part, for me, is his description of those to move to New York from somewhere else: "...the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. ...each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh eyes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consoli ...more
Kathy
Jan 24, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In just 58 pages, E.B.White tells the magical tale of the neighborhoods and the "story" of New York City. The essay was written about 50 years ago. With the dynamics of today, some places described in the book are no longer there, but the essence of the city still lives on each page and with each word. I have been lucky enough to live in New York, so "Here is New York" was a little bit of a nostagic journey for me. This "settler" did a little research after reading...I had to know a little more ...more
Rachel
Dec 30, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I don't know why I had to round up to having finished 75 books, but I did when I realized I was at 74 with two days to go. So I did it. I scoured the shelf to find something short enough and found this. I had read it before, but I loved it yet again. What an excellent way to end the year. And it was interesting having read it right before moving to NYC and only having visited, and then 6 years after I moved here.
Kathy Shuker
Jul 17, 2016 Kathy Shuker rated it it was amazing
A little gem of a book - more of an essay - which conjures up the vibrant, thrusting, cosmopolitan New York of 1949 in wonderfully descriptive language. It feels remarkably contemporary in some of the issues mentioned. It might be the closest I ever get to visiting the city but it was a very evocative little tour.
Alison
Jun 06, 2016 Alison rated it it was amazing
I loved this essay about New York. White is such an amazing writer- I love his imagery and how he manages to evoke nostalgia for the city and how he really focuses on the unchanging aspects that are present today. EB White rules.
Puri Kencana Putri
Feb 19, 2017 Puri Kencana Putri rated it it was amazing
"There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts it's size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something."

For reading this long essay I feel very close with current Jak
...more
Christine Boyer
Mar 05, 2017 Christine Boyer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everybody
Stunning. Beautiful writing. White wrote this short, little essay about Manhattan in 1948 - it literally felt as contemporary as my trip there in September 2016! He brought back all the sights, sounds, smells, and FEELINGS that I experienced in that wonderful city that never sleeps.
Carin
Nov 27, 2012 Carin rated it really liked it
I lived in New York City, in Astoria, Queens, for four and a half years, from January 2000-July 2004. I lived there through September 11 and through the blackout. I visited last summer. New York is a very special place and it's nice that it's our, as America is such a young country, and so many of the cities in the world that are real treasurers, are elsewhere.

I am a longtime fan of E.B. White and I like essays so I was really looking forward to this book. I was startled at how brief it was, tho
...more
Suzie
Sep 25, 2016 Suzie rated it really liked it
found this on my shelf and devoured it. love an old time reflection on New York City.
Dave Gaston

White wraps his master level talent around a wide-eyed Manhattan love story. A classic from the 1940’s, “Here is New York,” is well thought and well penned. What was fundamentally true about New York City yesterday, is still true today and will likely be true again in 2040 when this little novella turns 100. Since any town is really a reflection of it’s people, White describes NY as three towns made up of three distinct groups. The first circle is the establishment, it includes those select fami
...more
Karolyn Sherwood
Dec 31, 2012 Karolyn Sherwood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
New York City is a club, and E.B. White makes you want to join.

Written in 1949, this essay is lyrical, magical, and honest, and only 31 pages long. White, of CHARLOTTE'S WEB fame, packs more sentiment into each sentence than some writers can squeeze into an entire paragraph. Though many of the landmarks he mentions are long gone, White sweeps the reader from Ellis Island to Harlem with stops in the LES, Greenwich Village, Broadway, and Central Park along the way, offering vignettes of the chara
...more
Mari
Apr 01, 2009 Mari rated it liked it
New York today is the same as New York of 1948 but also SO different. I didn't fully get the geography, but that's because I don't venture past my set paths (neighborhood downtown, church uptown and some regular tourist spots in between). But that was also a point E.B. White made in this slim book - basically an essay about the city.

I read this paragraph aloud to Shawn:

"New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty or Detroit multiplied by f
...more
Jake
Oct 17, 2009 Jake rated it really liked it
Shelves: sociology
This brief and evocative meditation on New York begins with a memorable line: "On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy". The city that E.B. White describes is full of luncheonettes and dark little bars and shoe-shine men, and while the references feel dated, his thoughts about the city and the people who live here are as true today as they were fifty years ago. And it's not just the beauty and pulse that grabs his attention ...more
Melly Garcia
Jan 16, 2016 Melly Garcia rated it it was amazing
From the writer of "Charlott'e Web" and "Stuart Little", a must, must read! As a native New Yorker, I think this is just the most timeless, eloquent and damn perfect take on New York; elegant in its graceful slimness. I've given it to newbies in the past.

It is literally with tears of pride and newfound awe, however, that I blink hard and wonder at how E.B. White could have so presciently written this following passage - remember, it was 1949:

"This race - this race between the destroying planes
...more
Melissa
Aug 01, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
Betsy
Sep 25, 2016 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Written in 1949, this is exquisitely crafted; both a eulogy to the city he lived in and loved as a young man, and an appreciation of the ever-changing world that is New York. There is chilling prophecy as well, while he notes the building of the UN's headquarters and the arrival of the hope it could bring, while at the same time, "the city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn ...more
Sonya
Sep 08, 2009 Sonya rated it really liked it
“Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last— the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is the third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidarity and continuity; but the settlers ...more
J.
Nov 19, 2008 J. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ... essayists ..
More of a magazine essay than anything else, a super-short contemplation of New York City by EB White, living in the now-long-gone Lafayette Hotel during a summer heatwave, in 1948. A small masterpiece of concision and sense of place.

A rare case, too, of the quality and the texture of the prose somehow precisely matching the subject and the period. Portrays the old, massive, nothing-like-it-in-the-world New Deal NYC. Where the old Queen Mary liner announced her arrival to the whole west side wit
...more
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Elwyn Brooks White was a leading American essayist, author, humorist, poet and literary stylist and author of such beloved children's classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine. He authored over seventeen books of prose and poetry and was elected to t ...more
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“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something.
...Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. ”
130 likes
“A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines. The island of Manhattan is without any doubt the greatest human concentrate on earth, the poem whose magic is comprehensible to millions of permanent residents but whose full meaning will always remain elusive.” 30 likes
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