“He wasn’t a great writer, only a good one.”  Jerome Charyn, Gangsters and Gold Diggers: Old New York, the Jazz Age, and the Birth of Broadway.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

“Long, narrow Manhattan Island sits in the bay, among other islands, outcroppings, flatlands, like a silhouette of a right whale navigating a rocky passage; on the area map, among blank-faced formations all like itself colored yellow for density of population, it lies like a smelt in a pan.” Luc Sante, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York.

“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.” Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy.

“Manhattan is shaped like an ocean liner or like a lozenge or like a paramecium (what remains of its protruding ribs, its cilia) or like a gourd or like some sort of fish, a striped bass, say, but most of all like a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere.” Phillip Lopate, Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan.

“At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.” Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees.

“When the first apartment house was built in New York City, it was as out of place on the streets as a visitor from another country or another century.” Elisabeth Hawes, New York, New York: How the Apartment House Transformed the Life of the City (1869-1930).

“In the beginning, when Adam was first created, he spent whole days rubbing his face in the grass.” Jonathan Goldstein, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!

“For the first few days of the trip to Fort Sumter, the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher was in excellent spirits.” Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher.

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