Rachel C.'s Reviews > Here Is New York

Here Is New York by E.B. White
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's review
Jan 31, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fic, city-new-york, length-short
Read in November, 2008

E.B. White was writing about his New York, but I still recognized a lot of my own New York in his descriptions. I love that he remarked, some years after the essay's original publication that "it is the reader's, not the author's, duty to bring New York down to date." That duty, as he suspected, is a pleasure and privilege.

I found the following paragraph chilling in the extreme:

The subtlest change in New York is something people don't speak much about but that is in everyone's mind. 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 the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition.

It's at once disturbingly prescient and a reminder that New York is not unfamiliar with threats. But I disagree - New York is emphatically not destructible. I am proud to live in this city.

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