"Sometimes to walk in shaded parts of Manhattan is to be inserted into a Magritte: the street is night while the sky is day."
Netherland, Joseph O'Neill
“At three-thirty in the morning, the scene in front of 27 Eldridge was fairly typical: the last of the last-call stagger-zoo, many of them walking as if it were their first time on ice skates; a kid in the back of an open-doored taxi staring at the knot of damp cash in his hands as he tried to make sense of the meter; and up the block a shirtless, bearded man sticking the top half of his body out of a sixth-floor tenement window and screaming at everybody to shut the fuck up and go back to New Jersey, then slamming his window down so hard that it rained glass, the people below whistling and applauding.”
Lush Life, Richard Price
“Two short blocks, from One Hundred-sixteenth to One Hundred-fourteenth, but during that brief trajectory, very close to the beginning, with perhaps the tenth or twelfth step we took, your grandmother slipped her arm around mine, and the thrill of that moment has lingered in your grandfather’s heart to this day.”
Man in the Dark, Paul Auster
“ ‘You know: where are all the baby pigeons? It’s the burning question on every New Yorker’s mind.’ ‘They’re everywhere. You just have to look,’ says Ralph, who seems not to have heard the urban myth that pigeons arrive on the earth full grown and ready to be despised—or that they perform a backward version of human migration: raise babies in the suburbs, then move into town.”
I See You Everywhere, Julia Glass
"The street was covered with that steamy mist or fog that hits the city on humid nights and swirls around the lampposts. Only something like the purple fluorescent night-lights in a plant store window punctured this fog. Manhattan was barely visible across the river: a few skyscrapers, like giant, smudged gum erasers or bits of charcoal, shone in the soupy night."
Two Marriages, Phillip Lopate