51 Greatest Quotes About New York City

Updated May 24, 2023
About the Author: Denise Cruz has lived in 4 countries and visited 35+ others. After her second sabbatical, she began sharing travel advice at Wander Her Way.

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17 Inspiring Quotes About New York City

The Best Quotes About New York City

Looking for the best New York quotes and Instagram captions about New York City guaranteed to inspire you?

It’s no secret that I love New York. It is one of the greatest cities in the world—there’s so much history, character, and things to do in NYC. So it’s no surprise that so many famous writers, musicians, and artists have a lot to say about the city.

Without further ado, here are some of the best quotes about New York City!

Famous Quotes About New York City

“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

“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

“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

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

Tom Wolfe

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

Groucho Marx
my favorite new york quote

“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

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

Mark Twain

“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

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

Simone de Beauvoir

“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

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

John Updike

“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

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

Ayn Rand

What to see New York’s skyline for yourself? See the city than from a helicopter.

The Best Time to Visit New York City

“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

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

Georgia O’Keeffe

“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 spent in New York.”

Harry Ruby

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

Walt Whitman

“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

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

Le Corbusier
NYC Quote by Georgia O'Keefe

“For me, New York is comfortable, not strange.”

Karl Lagerfeld

“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

“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

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

Fran Lebowitz

“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 Ephrom

Inspired by this quote by Nora Ephron? I wrote a post about some of the most delicious desserts in New York including that chocolate chip cookie she’s talking about.

The Best Time to Visit New York City

“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. But there is one thing about it once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.”

John Steinbeck

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

Johnny Carson

“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

“For me, New York is comfortable, not strange.”

Karl Lagerfeld

“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

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

Agatha Christie
quote about new york

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

Greatest New York City Quotes

“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

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

Henry James

“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

“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
NYC Bucket List

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

Lindsey Kelk

“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

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

Elbert Hubbart

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

Angela Carter

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

Ralph Ellison

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

Susan Ertz

“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

“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
best nyc quotes

“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

“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.”


“Anything is possible. This is New York.”

Carrie Bradshaw

“Curtains forcing their will against the wind, children sleep, exchanging dreams with seraphim. The city drags itself awake on subway straps; and I, an alarm, awake as a rumor of war, lie stretching into dawn, unasked and unheeded.”

Maya Angelou

“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
Best Time to Visit New York

“A concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do. Now you’re in New York. These streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you.”

Alicia Keys

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

Thomas Wolfe

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

O. Henry

Which of these quotes about New York City is your favorite?

I would say to say my favorite is the first one on this list from F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby:

“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.”

I love that because that’s how I feel every time I drive across the Queensboro Bridge!

More New York Inspiration

I hope you enjoyed these famous quotes about New York City.

📌 Before you go, check out my complete New York travel guide.

For more posts about New York, be sure to read the following:

Denise, travel blogger at Wander Her Way

About Denise Cruz

Denise is a marketing executive who escaped corporate to travel the world… twice. A Brazilian native living in the U.S., she’s lived in 4 countries and visited 35+ others. After side-hustling her way to financial independence, she curates solo destination guides, slow travel tips, and travel blogging advice on Wander Her Way. When she’s not on the road, you can find her in Miami with her dog Finnegan.