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Here Is New York

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  7,256 ratings  ·  701 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 2000 by Little Bookroom (first published 1948)
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emma EB White, the author of Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan…moreEB White, the author of Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan(less)

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Jaidee
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New York city philes
Recommended to Jaidee by: Julie
3 "observant and lyrical reflections" stars !

Fourth Most Fun Review Written in 2018 Award

For the past thirteen days we wandered NYC. This was my first trip and my partner's third. I was saturated with art, musicals, opera, piano bars and even went to see some obscure metal. We explored two beautiful botanical gardens and went to all the large art galleries, museums and of course I had to see Lady Liberty. I loved exploring Hasidic neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, ate delicious Greek and Italian in
...more
Julie
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
Betsy Robinson
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was born in New York City in 1951, moved out when I was two, and grew up in what at the time was a sleepy little village half an hour north, instantly turning my father into a member of what E. B. White calls the “second New York”—there are three New Yorks (pp. 25-26)—a commuter. In 1972, I moved back permanently, becoming a member of what E. B. (Andy) White calls the “third New York,” made up of people from somewhere else in a quest for something. I came to be an actor and evolved, out of fru ...more
PorshaJo
Oct 15, 2016 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
Jon Nakapalau
A love letter to NY...but the speculation about planes hitting buildings will haunt you.
Alex
Mar 16, 2017 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
Paul Secor
Truth telling - I didn't read this edition. After reading Betsy Robinson's wonderful - and personal - review of the book (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I pulled Essays of E.B. White off the shelf where it's been sitting for too many years and read this essay. (Thanks for the kick in the pants, Betsy.)
I can't add much of any importance or grace to Betsy's review. I'm basically a small town guy who can't take the rush and bustle of New York (Manhattan, anyway) for any length of time.
...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.
...more
Carla Jean
Oct 11, 2007 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?! ...more
Gregory
Sep 07, 2007 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
Gretchen Rubin
I've probably read this essay five or six times. A beautiful tribute to New York City—and to the yearning that New York City inspires. ...more
Katerina
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-york, audio, 2021_read
*sings out loud*
Iiiii love New York
and I cannot lie

Essentially, this is a love song in shape of a book.
Don’t read it if you have been missing New York since forever.
Andrew
Dec 15, 2020 added it
Shelves: essays
A brief, rapturous essay about a city that no longer exists. Sure "New York" exists, but the New York of E.B. White's imagination is barely even a memory anymore, as it was turned upside down by urban crisis, and then Giuliani'd and gentrified in a final humiliation. To the point where, when I'm in New York, every time I see a bit of that old New York of wig shops and plumbing supply warehouses and all the rest jutting through, it's like a love letter being slipped to me from between the Chipotl ...more
d.a.v.i.d
EB White knows how to write. In this short book, he details many aspects of Manhattan. The book was published mid-twentieth century, so many of his observations are now faded memories of a time that was.

His recollection of brand and building names, his comments on shows and restaurants, or where to catch a train or hitch your mare, was quite definitely before my time.

But because I am a resident of Nuuk, Greenland, I was fascinated by how many people live in that small island. Here, I occasionall
...more
Colie!
Jun 24, 2008 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
Todd Lukens
Jan 22, 2008 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
Kate
May 02, 2013 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
Colleen
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful love letter to New York City. I've never lived in NYC but I've been there for both business and pleasure. This little book beautifully describes the sights and sounds and the feel of the city. It's amazing how E.B. White re-creates the feeling and rhythm of the city in such a short tome. I also love the way he describes the three inhabitants of New York City: (1) those who are born there; (2) those who commute there for work; and (3) those who settle there to achieve their d ...more
Kirsty
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
E.B. White's Here Is New York has been described as a 'remarkable, pristine essay', and The New York Times lists it as one of the best ten books ever written about the 'grand metropolis' of the city. White's essay was originally an article written for Holiday magazine; he declined to revise it at all before it was published in book form in 1948. New York is one of my absolute favourite cities, and I have been eager to read White's essay for years; thankfully, my parents bought me a lovely slim h ...more
Jill
Jun 27, 2012 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
Evan
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in New York City
Recommended to Evan by: The dusty shelves of the thrift store
Although this book can be appreciated as it stands, it definitely behooves the reader of this exquisite glorified essay to have a working knowledge of the history of New York City, at least since the mid-19th-century days of Walt Whitman, to fully appreciate the in-and-out flow of memories White conveys as he contemplates the contemporary New York of 1949, along with those things about the city which had changed, which had gone, and which qualities seemed timeless and ever-germane to the place.

I
...more
J.
Nov 19, 2008 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
Gonçalo
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, readinenglish
"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." ...more
Erica Clou
It's interesting how similar New York still is- in the generalities if not in the specifics. Beautiful essay. ...more
Lancelot Schaubert
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Misleading title: here is a book. But it captured the spirit of NYC perfectly so 10/10
Auderoy
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
FAV QUOTES:

No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.

New York is the concentrate of art and commerce and sport and religion and entertainment and finance, bringing to a single compact arena the gladiator, the evangelist, the promoter, the actor, the trader and the merchant. It carries on its lapel the unexpungeable odor of the long past, so that no matter where you sit in New York you feel the vibrations of great times and tall deeds, of queer people and events and
...more
Brock
Jul 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Needed some encouragement for moving to NYC soon. EB makes it sound right up my alley!
Bill
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The introduction (from 1999) and the original essay by White (from 1948) provide an interesting perspective on how much New York City changes, and yet how there are essential elements -- like the interplay between city natives, commuters, and those who move here -- that will never change.

There are a few cringe-worthy moments of elitism (like "the Irish are a hard race to tune out" -- really?) that mar this otherwise entertaining essay.

[Note: I read this during the 2017 Book Riot "read harder" ch
...more
Heidi
Dec 25, 2007 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 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
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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.
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