Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Here is New York” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Here is New York
E.B. White
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Here is New York

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  3,248 ratings  ·  359 reviews
Sitting in a sweltering New York hotel room in the summer of 1948, E.B. White began writing his memoir about the world's most fabulous city. He created a beautiful piece of prose in which he completely captures the essence of New York City.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Warner Books (NY) (first published January 1st 1948)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Here is New York, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Here is New York

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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.
Carla Jean
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?!
Jun 24, 2008 Colie! rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Todd Lukens
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
New York City has never dazzled me all that much, so I didn't read this essay to learn more about it, per se. I read Here Is New York because E.B. White wrote it. White's Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan delighted me when I was a child, and I've looked at The Elements of Style on more than a few occasions as a writer. I was curious to see what spin he would put on 1940s New York and how I would feel about his writing now that I am an adult.

For the most part, Here Is New York is a simp
"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
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
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
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
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
Karolyn Sherwood
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
“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
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
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
Superb. As relevant today as it was in 1949. Some of White's observations and musings not only give the reader a visceral image of New York City as it was (and still is), but also foreshadow many of the triumphs and tragedies experienced in NYC in the last several decades. Read this book if you've ever been to New York or just want to read a beautifully wrought description of the greatest city in the world. As the old saying goes, "They don't make 'em like this anymore".
A quintessential love letter to the big apple as seen through the eyes of E.B. White when NYC was as ripe as her moniker. The NY Times has named "Here is New York"one of the ten best books ever written about the city.
It manages to be glamorous and gritty all at the same time and coming in at only 58 pages, I was wishing for more.
Daniel Simmons
This is a poignant time capsule of a book that captures a hot summer in New York City over half a century ago. White's writing is rendered all the more moving by its prescient musings about the threat of destructive planes passing overhead... I felt a chill reading the last few pages.
โตมร ศุขปรีชา
อานบทนำจนจบ พบวาคนเขียนบทนำ (ซึงเปนลูกเลียงของ E.B. White) เขียนบทนำไดดีมาก แตพอพลิกไปอานบทแรกทีเปนฝีมือของ E.B. White เอง กยิงตืนตะลึง พบวานักเขียนชันครูเขาเขียนหนังสือกันอยางนีนีเอง ถาอยากรูวาเปนอยางไร ลองหามาอานนะครับ ...more
Oof, 4 or 5? 4 or 5? Can I do 4.5? Okay 5. Something reminded me of this book this morning. I was gifted a copy at the end of my first internship in New York, but it was a while before I read it. Which was good I think, because by the time I read it, I knew the city better, and it knew me, and so the book resonated more.

It's short, so there's not one word more than needs to be there. Eloquent and evocative and succinct. I am convinced that if I picked it up again to read it, now that I've left
Derek Henderson
Insightful, well written and short. What more could you ask.
Fantastic. Living in NYC, I have a better idea of what he is talking about. He mentions a Bronx neighborhood in which I currently live (not by name), but only someone who lives there knows that this is that particular neighborhood. I loved his comment about the bus drivers slapping you down for asking an innocent question. Things haven't changed much over the years. And I loved when he talked about the train seats being green instead of straw yellow. I remember the straw yellow. Fantastic little ...more
Gail Pool
Among the many long and sometimes long-winded books about New York, E. B. White’s Here is New York—at 7500 words—occupies an outsize space. Widely admired since it first appeared more than fifty years ago, this slender essay manages to capture the essence of the city—or The City, as it is known to those who live there.

Describing the origins of the work in his introduction, Roger Angell—a New Yorker writer and White’s stepson—explains that it was commissioned in 1948 by Holiday magazine. With tra
Lyrical, personal, and in some senses timeless meditation on the city. Revealing for its insights on both the places and habits that have passed, and for those that are as true in 2015 as they were in 1948. It is miraculous how White captures so much of the city in this concise essay, and so much of what's essential about it. The starry-eyed beginners and dreamers, the tidal rhythms of the commuters, the ability of people to remain unflappable in the face of inconvenience, chaos, and urban disfu ...more
Chris Witkowski
While recently visiting the New York Public Library on 5th Ave. with my sister, we discovered this lovely little book. Unbeknownst to me, my sister bought the book and surprised me later that evening by propping it up on my hotel room pillow. I think it was the introduction by Roger Angell and the quote from John Updike that inspired her gift - both writers whom I greatly admire.

This "book" which is really just an essay, is quite lovely and full of nostalgia about the New York city of the author
May 23, 2010 Nuala rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Nuala by: Peter Carey (author)
I first read this slim tome in 2002. As of May 2010, this book remains my all-time favorite. The poetry in White's words are breathtaking. The beauty of language in this little book will stir even the most left-brained of readers. Here Is New York reminds the reader that even in the midst of the most famous city there is hope and there is beauty all around us. We just need to look closer at life to see the truth of what is really in front of us.
Rob Atkinson
While some of White's references are so dated as to be inscrutable to this born-and-raised New Yorker, (the essay was published in 1948, to be fair), he still manages to nail the essence of New York's character and people. It's a quick, breezy read, in affable company, and I recommend it to anyone who has a pervading interest in Gotham's history and essential spirit. It's a classic, and for good reason.
Keith Putnam
It's not easy to add anything to the praise that this work has already garnered; it's touching, amusing, nostalgic and apt... reading it for the first time more than fifty years after it was written I feel like any New Yorker of any era would nod along in understanding of White's observations. White's prose is modern, gentle and evocative. Recommended for anyone who loves New York City.
Jun 14, 2009 Karlan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karlan by: Thanks, Marge Lewis
Shelves: adult
This elegant essay published as a book is wonderful. Although White wrote about New York City in 1948, it is still true. The Third Avenue EL may be gone, but the people and atmosphere remain the same. The final three pages were chilling when he wrote about what a natural site NYC would be for an air attack. Unfortunately, he imagined the future.
René Clausen Nielsen
An amazing little book about one of the finest cities in the world. It's greatness lies a lot in the ability to describe the enormous changes that make the city be forever the same. In such a way that all the things he describes from just after WWII are still relevant. Although most of those things are no more.
Jessica Navarrete
Here is New York is a story that combines the key themes of memory, time, and change,
as the author revisits the city and comments upon the way that he remembers it and how it has changed since he was last there. In a sense, White tries to capture the spirit of New York and what makes it such a buzzing metropolis.

I would use Here is New York for a geography lesson that involves teaching about New York’s location and different living situations. We can discuss the way history changes through the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009
  • A Walker in the City
  • Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York
  • Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers
  • Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan
  • The Colossus of New York
  • Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City
  • Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis
  • Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898
  • Downtown: My Manhattan
  • Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum
  • New York
  • Up in the Old Hotel
  • The Works: Anatomy of a City
  • Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York
  • Subwayland: Adventures in the World Beneath New York
  • Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels
  • The Long-Winded Lady: Notes from The New Yorker
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
More about E.B. White...

Share This Book

“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. ”
“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.” 25 likes
More quotes…