25 Favorite Quotes About New York City

Words by:

Nyssa P. Chopra
New York City incites a flurry of strong emotions. It’s hard to feel ambivalent towards it. You either hate it or you love it. I happen to fall sharply on the LOVE side of the spectrum and embrace the concrete jungle in all its shame and glory. To reflect the city’s power to captivate and repel in equal parts, hundreds of New Yorkers and travelers over time have tried to capture the essence of the city and these 25 quotes are my favorite.

quotes about new york city

1) [ictt-tweet-inline]I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village. It might be dying, and there might be a lot of dirt in the air you breathe, but this is where it’s happening. –John Lennon[/ictt-tweet-inline]
2) [ictt-tweet-inline]Make your mark in New York and you are a made man. –Mark Twain[/ictt-tweet-inline]
3) Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual. –Angela Carter
4) New York, you are an Egypt! But an Egypt turned inside out. For she erected pyramids of slavery to death, and you erect pyramids of democracy with the vertical organ-pipes of your skyscrapers all meeting at the point of infinity of liberty! –Salvador Dalí
5) New York has a trip-hammer vitality which drives you insane with restlessness, if you have no inner stabilizer…. In New York I have always felt lonely, the loneliness of the caged animal, which brings on crime, sex, alcohol and other madnesses. –Henry Miller
6) There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless. –Simone Beauvoir
7) I get out of the taxi and it’s probably the only city which in reality looks better than on the postcards, New York. –Milos Forman
8) New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed… a race for rent. –Frank Lloyd Wright
9) I can’t with any conscience argue for New York with anyone. It’s like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. I’ve loved the city my whole life — to me, it’s like a great woman. –Woody Allen
10) The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world. –F. Scott Fitzgerald
11) One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years. –Tom Wolfe
12) New York City is always a good idea. –Unknown
13) 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
14) Each neighborhood of the city appeared to be made of a different substance, each seemed to have a different air pressure, a different psychic weight: the bright lights and shuttered shops, the housing projects and luxury hotels, the fire escapes and city parks. –Teju Cole
15) By comparison with other less hectic days, the city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience — if they did they would live elsewhere. –E. B. White
16) The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding. –John Updike
17) New York is a city of daily irritations, occasional horrors, hourly tests of will and even courage, and huge dollops of pure beauty. –Pete Hamill
18) Something’s always happening here. If you’re bored in New York, it’s your own fault. –Myrna Loy
19) Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do…” –Alicia Keys
20) Things always change and New York teaches you that. –Richard Hell
21) A bad day in New York City is still better than a good day anywhere else. –Unknown
22) New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it — once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough. –John Steinbeck
23) One can’t paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt. –Georgia O’Keeffe
24) I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline… What other religion do we need? When I see the city from my window — no, I don’t feel how small I am — but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body. –Ayn Rand
25) 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

For more wanderlust and life inspiration, check out: 25 Favorite Quotes About Paris | A Collection of Inspiring Travel Quotes | 50 Favorite Quotes About Women | Around the World in 52 Proverbs | 25 Favorite Quotes About London | 25 Favorite Quotes About Los Angeles