New York City, USA

New York City, USA

Friday, 14 June, 2024

Is New York City the world capital of… everything? It’s sure putting up a good effort.

We could talk about how the New York Stock Exchange started under a tree (!) on Wall Street and how NYC is now the financial capital of the world. Billionaires, millionaires, blah blah blah.

Let’s talk about what really matters.

Like… the best pizza and bagels in the world, the Met and the New York Public Library, art deco skyscrapers and bodega cats, Carnegie Hall, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, and that one place on the corner in Brooklyn with the best Polish pastries.

There’s the immediately identifiable New York accent and the 800 or so languages spoken by New Yorkers from all around the world. The City That Never Sleeps is the ultimate melting pot; we’re all better for it.

New Yorkers are a unique breed who’ve changed the personality of the city over and over again. Dutch and British settlers named the place, immigrants made it cosmopolitan, the elite of the Gilded Age filled it with skyscrapers, and the artists of the Harlem Renaissance blasted through barriers. And let’s not forget the unnamed good samaritan on the subway who will warn you that the next station is closed so you need to transfer.

In this episode, we grab an imaginary coffee to go in a ‘We Are Happy to Serve You’ cup and explore the ultimate bookish day in New York City. In Two Truths and a Lie, we meet the musicians of the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and visit a Brooklyn store where you can buy a can of chutzpah. Then we recommend six great books that took us to New York City on the page, including two graphic novels, a love letter to ’90s Manhattan, a frothy family saga, historical fiction with a challenging heroine, and a collection of short stories from a master of fiction.

For books set in the rest of the great state of New York, visit our New York Destination page.

recommended books

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

buy | read review

Envy of Angels

buy | read review

The Golem and the Jinni

buy | read review

Hello, New York

buy | read review

LaserWriter II

buy | read review

Manhattan Beach

buy | read review

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

buy | read review

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

buy | read review

Olga Dies Dreaming

buy | read review

Roaming

buy | read review

Table for Two

buy | read review

Take-Out

buy | read review

The Works

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Nick Harris/Flickr.

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featured posts

There's a reason there are 160 songs (and counting) written about New York City. As ol' Frankie Sinatra said, the Bronx is up, the Battery's down — make it there, make it anywhere. It's up to you, New York, New York.
It looks like the enchanted library of your dreams, but it's really the East Room of banker J.P. Morgan's 1906 Library, the heart of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Commence swooning.
This weekend, escape to turn-of-the-century New York and meet two unlikely new friends: a Jewish golem from Poland and an Arab jin from Egypt. Their history divides them; their adventures will bring them together.
In this episode, we get excited about two new book releases: Siren Queen by Nghi Vo and Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story in Music Lessons by Jeremy Denk. Then we talk about an exhibit at the New York Public Library featuring art from a new graphic novel.

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