Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Your Own Personal Skyline

{manhattan from the george washington bridge, 1936}

There are a lot of things that could be said today, on this anniversary. But I wasn’t here, I didn’t belong to New York yet, so they’re not for me to say. Instead, I’d like to point you to a beautifully written essay from 2001 on the city that never ceases to move forward. Here are some of my favorite bits...

The city has spent a considerable amount of time and money putting the brochure together, what with all the movies, TV shows and songs -- the whole ''if you can make it there'' business. The city also puts a lot of effort into making your hometown look really drab and tiny, just in case you were wondering why it's such a drag to go back sometimes.

The New York City you live in is not my New York City; how could it be? This place multiplies when you're not looking...Before you know it, you have your own personal skyline.

We see ourselves in this city every day when we walk down the sidewalk and catch our reflections in store windows, seek ourselves in this city each time we reminisce about what was there 5, 10, 40 years ago, because all our old places are proof that we were here. One day the city we built will be gone, and when it goes, we go. When the buildings fall, we topple, too.

Photo by Jack Rosenzwieg. All quotes by Colson Whitehead in The New York Times. Story via Longform.


  1. Have you read the new historical fiction book "New York"? I feel like you'd love it...I'm nearly done. SO interesting!

  2. who's it by? sounds right up my alley!

  3. Edward Rutherford: http://www.amazon.com/New-York-Novel-Edward-Rutherfurd/dp/0385521383


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