15 NYC Quotes That Really Capture the City’s Essence

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Lots of ink has been spilled trying to put the chaotic energy of NYC into words. But to tell you the truth, New York is so beautifully complex that no words could ever perfectly capture it. These NYC quotes below are the closest thing I’ve found to perfection thus far. Use them to broaden your own understanding of the city or as “deep” captions when you post your NYC trip pics on Instagram.

NYC quotes

“London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it.”
― Dorothy Parker

“…for in that city [New York] there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.”
― Evelyn Waugh

“New York City is where specks of dust aspire randomly with all their cunning to become grains of sand.”
― David B. Lentz

NYC quotes

“Skyscraper National Park”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“Sometimes, from beyond the skyscrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.”
― Albert Camus

“New York is the only city in the world where you can get run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian.”
― Russell Baker

NYC quotes

“New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.”
― Alistair Cooke

“New York is a place where the rich walk, the poor drive Cadillac’s, and the beggars die of malnutrition with thousands of dollars hidden in their mattresses.”
― Duke Ellington

“The only credential the city asked was the boldness to dream. For those who did, it unlocked its gates and its treasures, not caring who they were or where they came from.”
― Moss Hart

NYC quotes

“The whole of New York is rebuilt about once in ten years.”
― Philip Hone

“It’ll be a great place if they ever finish it.”
― O. Henry

“New York City is the place where people come to invent, reinvent, or find the room they need to be who they wish to be.”
― Siri Hustvedt

“Man with goatee. Man who looked like a Beatle. All the Beatles at once. Woman wearing newspaper hat. I’d grown used to how weird New Yorkers were, and I could fit them into types.”
― Olivia Sudjic

“More than anything else New York is a city of superlatives, a place where the best, the brightest, the biggest is the norm.” – Marilyn J. Appleberg

“When I was younger, I had wanted to be at the very center of all the action in New York, but I slowly came to realize that there is no one center. The center is everywhere – wherever people are living out their lives. It’s a city with a million centers.”― Elizabeth Gilbert

What are your favorite NYC quotes? Feel free to share them in the comment section. Also feel free to join my email list and follow me on social media to get to know NYC even better with Shiloh in the City! Thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “15 NYC Quotes That Really Capture the City’s Essence

  1. Very interesting quotes. My favorite is New York is superlative…so true .Moss Hart thanks for that quote. I will add to it your quote know who you are and, where you are going. Life will be simpler. Second favorite: One can definitely be run down by pedestrian because everyone is always so busy going somewhere.Nice one Duke Ellington So … true.

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