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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Sporadic

17 quotes every New Yorker should live by

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

There’s definitely no shortage of famous quotes about New York, but some manage to really get to the heart of what it’s like to live in this bustling city. From being adventurous to staying out late to watching where you walk on the sidewalk, these 17 statements capture things that all New Yorkers should keep in mind.

1. “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” —Simone de Beauvoir

2. “Everybody ought to have a Lower East Side in their life.” —Irving Berlin

3. “What’s the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don’t yield to them?” — P.G. Wodehouse 

4. “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

5. “I love New York because within its borders you can travel the world.” —Dennis Gonzalez

6. “There is more sophistication and less sense in New York than anywhere else on the globe.” —Elbert Hubbard

7. “I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.’ —Truman Capote

8. “Every true New Yorker believes with all his heart that when a New Yorker is tired of New York, he is tired of life.” —Robert Moses

9. “If you want to become a real New Yorker, there’s only one rule: You have to believe New York is, has been, and always will be the greatest city on earth. The center of the universe.” —Ellen R. Shapiro

10. “Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.” —Dorothy Parker

11. “Outside some fancy office building, you see a CEO getting his cigarette lit by a cleaning lady. Everybody is dealing with the same shit, everybody is on the subway elbow-to-elbow.” —Louis CK

12. “New York walking isn’t exercise: it’s a continuously showing make-your-own move.” —Roy Blount Jr.

13. “Something’s always happening here. If you’re bored in New York, it’s your own fault.” —Myrna Loy

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

15. “You haven’t lived until you died in New York.” —Alexander Woollcott

16. “When you leave New York, you ain’t going anywhere.” —Jimmy Breslin

And most importantly…

17. “Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do.” —Jay Z

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