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New York City Skyline at Night - Quotes about New York

120+ Quotes about New York to Ignite Your Wanderlust

Travel

Christine Barbara

by

One of America’s most famous cities, the so called “the Big Apple”, New York has long been a favourite amongst Americans and tourists alike! Home to many world famous buildings, captivating Broadway shows, and a rich history, New York has become a must-see destination like no other. Movies and series have frequently featured this vivacious city as their primary location and a key element of the story line, prominent figures have frequently sung its praises, and various authors have glorified its many assets in their written works.

Being such a popular tourist destination, and certainly one of the most important cities in the world, we simply had to curate a list of our favourite quotes about New York City. Whether searching for catchy Instagram captions to go with that New York selfie or looking for inspiration to entice you to plan a trip to New York, this article is guaranteed to to get you in that New York state of mind. So sit back and feel inspired to book your next East Coast trip with this ultimate guide to New York quotes!

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Aerial Video of Central Park

Literary Quotes about New York

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 beauty in the world.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby

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.

– John Steinbeck in America and Americans

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 in Here is New York

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 in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

In New York the opportunities for learning, and acquiring a culture that shall not come out of the ruins, but belong to life, are probably greater than anywhere else in the world.           

– Thomas Wolfe in Of Time and the River

Quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean “love” in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again.               

– Joan Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe.

– Le Corbusier in When the Cathedrals Were White

I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.     

– Nora Ephron in Heartburn

Nowhere has the number zero been of more philosophical value than in the United States…. and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with its lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.   

– Kurt Vonnegut in Bluebeard

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 in The Portable Dorothy Parker

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 in Open City

The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.        

– Douglas Adams in Mostly Harmless

While America will always, I think, feel foreign to me, New York City is my home.

– Raquel Cepeda in Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

Everything in New York is a photograph. All the things that are supposed to be dirty or rough or unrefined are the most beautiful things.

– Ann-Marie MacDonald in Fall on Your Knees

You don’t come to live here unless the delusion of a reality shaped around your own desires isn’t a strong aspect of your personality.

– Zadie Smith in Find Your Beach

More Famous Quotes About New York

There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy. It lays its hand upon a man’s bowels; he grows drunk with ecstasy; he grows young and full of glory; he feels that he can never die.      

– Walt Whitman

Once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.

– John Steinbeck

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.

– Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir Quotes about New York

To Europe she was America. To America, she was the gateway to the earth. But to tell the story of New York would be to write a social history of the world.

– H.G. Wells

Make your mark in New York and you are a made man. 

– Mark Twain

There is more sophistication and less sense in New York than anywhere else on the globe.

– Elbert Hubbard

One belongs to New York instantly; one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.

– Thomas Wolfe

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 a work of art in and of itself. It’s a masterpiece that shouldn’t make sense, yet somehow, it does. 

– Jacqueline E. Smith

When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough.

– Fran Lebowitz

It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.

– Agatha Christie

New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed… a race for rent.

– Frank Lloyd Wright

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

You can do what you like, sir, but I’ll tell you this. New York is the true capital of America. Every New Yorker knows it, and by God, we always shall.

– Edward Rutherford

New York has a trip-hammer vitality which drives you insane with restlessness if you have no inner stabilizer.

– Henry Miller

Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!

– Walt Whitman

Quotes About New York City

There is more sophistication and less sense in New York than anywhere else on the globe.

– Elbert Hubbard

It was never built for the comfort and happiness of its citizens, but to astonish the world.

– Susan Ertz

I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.

– Nora Ephron

I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.

– Ayn Rand

In New York, the sky is bluer, and the grass is greener, and the girls are prettier, and the steaks are thicker, and the buildings are higher, and the streets are wider, and the air is finer than the sky, or the grass, or the girls, or the steaks, or the air of any place else in the world.                

– Edna Ferber

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

The great city of New York wields more of the destinies of this great nation than five times the population of any other portion of the country.

– Malcolm S. Forbes

It’s an electrifying time for those of us who live in the city of Lady Liberty.             

– Will Gleason

At night… the streets become rhythmical perspectives of glowing dotted lines, reflections hung upon them in the streets as the wistaria hangs its violet racemes on its trellis. The buildings are shimmering verticality, a gossamer veil, a festive scene-prop hanging there against the black sky to dazzle, entertain, amaze.

– Frank Lloyd Wright

I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, ‘There’s no place like New York. It’s the most exciting city in the world now. That’s the way it is. That’s it.’

– Robert de Niro

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

Pull up the shades so I can see New York. I don’t want to go home in the dark.    

– O. Henry

The city is like poetry; it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.

– E.B. White

When it’s 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When it’s 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.

– Neil Simon

The wanderer in Manhattan must go forth with a certain innocence, because New York is best seen with innocent eyes.

– Pete Hamill

I don’t like cities. But I like New York. Other places make me feel like a dork.        

– Madonna

It was never built for the comfort and happiness of its citizens, but to astonish the world.

– Susan Ertz

There is more sophistication and less sense in New York than anywhere else on the globe.

– Don Herald

I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.     

– Nora Ephron

I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.

– Ayn Rand

In New York, the sky is bluer, and the grass is greener, and the girls are prettier, and the steaks are thicker, and the buildings are higher, and the streets are wider, and the air is finer than the sky, or the grass, or the girls, or the steaks, or the air of any place else in the world.

– Edna Ferber

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

It’s an electrifying time for those of us who live in the city of Lady Liberty.

– Will Gleason

To start with, I love New York… It’s a little bit of the whole world… In New York, the whole world comes to you.

– Billy Graham

New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.

– Alistair Cooke

Alistair Cooke Quotes about New York

Some of us claim that New York City is the capital of the country, indeed the capital of the world. Now that may be a bit much for those who don’t come from New York, but clearly we are an important city for reasons of our cultural advances.           

– David Dinkins

As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.

– Pearl S. Buck

And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there…. Squares after squares of flame, set up, and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.

– Ezra Pound

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

It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city for only the very young.

– Joan Didion

Quotes About New Yorkers

The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.

– John Updike

Being a New Yorker grounds you in every way. Before you walk out of the house, you can dress in the nicest clothes and be whoever you think you are, but when you’re on those streets, you’re just in the school of fish.

– Awkafina

My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they’re misunderstood. I don’t think people realize how kind New York people are.

– Bill Murray

I’m from New York. I will kill to get what I need.

– Lady Gaga

Whoever is born in New York is ill-equipped to deal with any other city: all other cities seem, at best, a mistake, and, at worst, a fraud.

– James Baldwin

New Yorkers are born all over the country, and then they come to New York City and it hits them: Oh, that’s who I am.

– Delia Ephron

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

Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.

-Dorothy Parker

I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I won’t ever dare ask that question.

– Dylan Thomas

Baby I’m from New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do.

-Alicia Keys

Funny New York Quotes

If Louis was right, and you only get one great love, New York may just be mine. And I can’t have nobody talking shit about my boyfriend.      

– Carrie Bradshaw

You haven’t lived until you died in New York.

– Alexander Woollcott

On a New York subway, you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing.

– Lewis Grizzard

Central Park is the grandiose symbol of the front yard each child in New York hasn’t got.

– Robert Benchley

I feel about New York as a child whose father is a bank robber. Not perfect, but I still love him.

– Woody Allen

Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.

– Angela Carter

The flag of New York City should be someone with four bags opening a door with their shoulder.

– Alex Baze

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

– Russell Baker

New York, the nation’s thyroid gland.

– Christopher Morley

It’ll be a great place if they ever finish it.

– O. Henry

In Hollywood, actors learn to act from watching television. In New York, people learn to act by walking down the street.

– Sidney Lumet

Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.  

– Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson Quotes about New York

There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?

– Woody Allen

New York is a different country. Maybe it ought to have a separate government. Everybody thinks differently, they just don’t know what the hell the rest of the United States is.

– Henry Ford

NYC Quotes About Life

One’s life and passion may be elsewhere, but New York is where you prove if what you think in theory makes sense in life.

– Miuccia Prada

Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book — and does.

– Groucho Marx

People go to LA to ‘find themselves’, they come to New York to become someone new.

– Lindsey Kelk

I wake up every morning and say to myself, ‘Well, I’m still in New York’. Thank you, God.

– Ed Koch

Living in California adds ten years to a man’s life. And those extra ten years I’d like to spend in New York.

– Harry Ruby

Harry Ruby Quotes about New York

I love that about New York: You just dress the way you want to dress and feel really comfortable because nobody is judging. You can just be yourself, and it’s perfectly normal.

– Henrik Lundquist

Most people are in New York because they need evidence—in large quantities—of human expressiveness; and they need it not now and then, but every day. That is what they need. Those who go off to the manageable cities can do without; those who come to New York cannot.

– Vivian Gornick

If you’re greedy for life, that’s what New York is all about. If you’re trying to get as much as you can every day, this city is the place to be.

– Pam Nelson

Short Quotes About New York

New York is a sucked orange.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For me, New York is comfortable, not strange.

– Karl Lagerfeld

New York is appalling, fantastically charmless, and elaborately dire.

– Henry James

‘New York!’ he said. ‘That’s not a place, it’s a dream.’

– Ralph Ellison

One can’t paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt.

– Georgia O’Keeffe

Welcome to New York. It’s been waiting for you.

– Taylor Swift

New York is not a city – it’s a world.

– Iman

Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life.

– Irving Berlin

New York had all the iridescence of the beginning of the world.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

In New York, you’ve got to have all the luck.

– Charles Bukowski

New York is the only real city-city.

– Truman Capote

If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.

– Peter Shaffer

Anything is possible. This is New York.

– Carrie Bradshaw

Somewhere between living and dreaming, there’s New York.      

– Unknown

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.

– Simone de Beauvoir

A bad day in New York City is still better than a good day anywhere else.

– Unknown

Things always change and New York teaches you that.    

– Richard Hell

NYC Quotes for Instagram

When I’m in New York, I just want to walk down the street and feel this thing, like I’m in a movie.

– Ryan Adams

I’m in a New York state of mind.

– Billy Joel

I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.

– Frank Sinatra

Anything is possible. This is New York.

– Carrie Bradshaw

 The glamour of it all! New York! America!

– Charlie Chaplin

New York is really the place to be; to go to New York, you’re going to the centre of the world, the lion’s den.

– Zubin Mehta

I fell in love. His name is New York.

– Unknown

If you follow your heart just right, it will get you to New York City.

– Unknown

What’s the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don’t yield to them?

– P.G. Wodehouse

I was superstitious. Today was a Monday. I was born on Monday. It was a good day to arrive in New York City. No one expected me. Everything awaited me.   

– Patti Smith

New York is a city that plays hard to get. You want me? You better work for it. 

– Rony Vardi

New York to me, means the world.

– Donna Karan

When you leave New York you ain’t going anywhere.

– Jimmy Breslin

I love New York City…you’re never alone but you’re always on your own.

– Blair Waldorf

I knew I couldn’t live in America and I wasn’t ready to move to Europe so I moved to an island off the coast of America – New York City.

– Spalding Gray

I love New York. You can pop out of the Underworld in Central Park, hail a taxi, head down Fifth Avenue with a giant hellhound loping behind you, and nobody even looks at you funny.          

– Rick Riordan


If you’re looking for more quote about beautiful places, be sure to check out our articles on Quotes about Paris, Quotes about Italy and Quotes about Canada.


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