There are roughly three New Yorks.

“ 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. […] Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.

– E.B. White, Here is New York

(via mareen)

15 Comments leave a comment below

  1. As a New Yorker who was born and raised here I take offense to these statements. E.B. White couldn’t be any more wrong. Born NYers do not take the city for granted, we’re the group that appreciates it the most, loves it the most. This is our home. I find that the people that settle here know almost nothing about this great city. To them Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn are NYC and that’s all they know which is sad. NYC is made up of 5 boroughs and each of them are unique. Queens is more than just the place where you catch an airplane.

  2. Fourth NYer… one who lives in another city but still considers themselves a NYer.

    Sheri in Baltimore

  3. Why take offence? Keep living as you are and enjoy every moment of it.

  4. great quote. And Antonio, your comment is exactly why you “give it solidarity and continuity.”
    – Jessie –

  5. This can be applied to a lot of big cities I’m sure…

  6. I think this is a very true quote. People who live anywhere take their place for granted at times. The people who move there are seeing it with new eyes.

    I saw this quote twice on Saturday and now today. Strange.

  7. OFFENSE? Totally totally right. I am so over this place and I’ve lived here my whole life. IN MIDTOWN. This city does some mean things to you sometimes on a whole. There is a grain of truth to every stereotype. So don’t be offended. You are probably one of the few who still like it here.

  8. I don’t see why this is offensive. I was not born here, but have been here since the age of 7, I am now 24 and I love the City very much and I know more about it than some born New Yorker’s I’ve met, including the fact that the City is made up of 5 boroughs. And I have also met New Yorkers born here who do take the City for granted and forget how amazing it is and how lucky we are to live in it. So whoever left that comment take a chill pill… life is to short to be getting offended so easily. And if you were to understand the meaning behind this excerpt, you would find it beautiful.

  9. I’ve only lived here a few years, on the boring UES, but have probably seen more of the city than many long timers. I’m a serious cyclist and also have a vehicle, so that helps. The reality is that NYC is much like any other place I’ve lived – you get up, go to work and then figure out what’s for dinner. It does devour money as fast as you can earn it. I look forward to saying “I used to live in NYC”.

    Hey, Antonio, why did Home Depot put a store on Northern Blvd. and one on 278, like a half a mile apart?

  10. you are mostly all fools. if you are from new york you know everything and more about it and you know about things no one moving here from the outside would ever know because as true new yorkers, we keep secrets to protect the things we hold closest. i would boycott the MTA for putting this quote up but I guess it is an economic stimulus ploy that would not get past a real new yorker…it’s plain offensive, if you want real new york quotes, try ayn rand

  11. Wow. Are that many people wound so tight they can’t just enjoy this? I guess “wound tight” is a pretty NY thing though. It’s a beautiful quote. But I guess some people are still stuck in high school, concerned about in-groups and out-groups. Us vs. them. That’s a shame. I thought it was a great statement, and pretty accurate.

    And to the last comment: True NYers keep secrets from the rest of us to protect things? You’ve got to be kidding me. Do you guys have a secret underground club where you meet on Thursday nights to talk about all the things the “new NYers” don’t know about?

  12. I have to totally agree with White. I am a settler who after living here for 17 years am getting ready to move away (very reluctantly). I have walked all the Avenues of Manhattan from end to end, walked large sections of Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx and visited SI often to claim that I have experienced the city well. Its seeped into me and made me what i am today.

    I ma going to sorely miss it in my new dewlling – hope it lives to the fraction of where I come from!!

  13. From the viewpoint of a “settler” who was raised in the suburbs and just moved here after college to start a career, this quote is 100% correct.

  14. Antonio, “take for granted” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    It means that the City is an integral part of the native New Yorker’s life. He or she assumes it exists, the native New Yorker could not exist in a world without New York. They take it for granted that New York is there, as the rest of the sentence makes clear: “and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable.”

  15. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.