What Do You Love about New York?

With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday, I thought about asking this very positive question about New York, but then decided it was likely a strange day to urge such a reflection. In those first years after 2001, this was a particularly important question, especially for those anywhere near Ground Zero who were forced to live elsewhere as rebuilding began or those who had decided it was just too painful to stay.

I had a film in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003⁠—the year after the festival was launched in an effort to stimulate the revitalization of Lower Manhattan⁠—and I remember how eerily quiet some streets were and how strange it was to look out from our movie theater’s windows onto the 24-hour-a-day worksite where the Twin Towers stood. Many of us who were part of the festival also felt proud that we could play some small part in helping the city that we cared about so deeply.

Which brings me back to the question about a city where I lived for five years and have always loved as a place of extraordinary diversity, one that attracts people from all over the world. I’ve always told friends who didn’t know New York so well that this is the only city I know that⁠—no matter what you want to do⁠—you can always find others who want to do it, too. For me, this is a place where anything is possible; and long before I moved there in my 20s, I had dreamed about doing it.

So tell us: What do you love about New York? Feel free to share the smallest detail, perhaps a favorite restaurant or shop or building, or perhaps a particular part of town or experience that best exemplifies what always brings you back or keeps you there. Maybe it has something to do with the town’s incredible energy, which stimulates some and overwhelms others. Whatever it is, I look forward to hearing about it.


For $50 a year or $5 a month, you can become a paid subscriber, gaining access to audio posts and other special features. I hope you will.

Photo: New York City by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images.