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18 of Our Favorite New York Quotes

We could write a thousand love letters (and, OK, a few strongly worded editorials) to New York. But lucky for us, plenty of folks have perfectly summed up this crazy city much more eloquently than we ever could. Here are 18 New York quotes about the greatest city on earth from James Baldwin, Amy Poehler, Nora Ephron and other esteemed thinkers.

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“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

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

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“There’s something so romantic about being broke in New York. You gotta do it. You have to live there once without any money, and then you have to live there when you have money. Let me tell you, of the two, the latter is far better.” – Amy Poehler

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“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. No other city is so spitefully incoherent.” – James Baldwin

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“Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.” – Johnny Carson

“It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.” – Agatha Christie 

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“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

“You can try to change New York, but it’s like Jay-Z says: ‘Concrete bunghole where dreams are made up. There’s nothing you can do.’” – Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

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“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Tom Wolfe

“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, Heartburn

“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, The Great Gatsby

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

“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

“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

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“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.” – Ayn Rand

“The flag of New York City should be someone with four bags opening a door with their shoulder.” – Alex Baze

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

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