Looking for some of the best New York quotes that are bound to inspire your own trip to the famous city? I have the ultimate list of quotes about New York that is sure to do just that.
The Big Apple. The Concrete Jungle. NYC. The City That Never Sleeps. The Centre of The Universe.
There’s a reason New York City has so many famous nicknames. It’s such an incredible city that it deserves them all!
Who doesn’t dream about a once-in-a-lifetime trip to The Big Apple? I know I do. That’s why I’ve put together the ultimate list of New York quotes to inspire you and enchant you.
From short quotes to funny quotes, literary quotes to movie quotes, song lyrics to Instagram captions – these incredible quotes will take you to the streets of New York in a New York minute.
Now, let’s jet to the concrete jungle and jump on the subway…
The Best New York Quotes
I personally love all of the New York quotes on my list, but this selection really are the cream of the crop – the quotes that bring the vibe of New York alive in the reader.
1) “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
2) “A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe.” – Le Corbusier
3) “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
4) “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
5) “In Hollywood, actors learn to act from watching television. In New York people learn to act by walking down the street.” – Sidney Lumet
6) “New York is a six-reel movie, with the film running backwards, sideways, cross-ways, but never in sequence. Nobody seems to be going anywhere, but is in an awful hurry to get there.” – William Henry McMasters
7) “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
8) “New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit. A constant ferment, but it might just as well be going on in a test tube. Nobody knows what it’s all about. Nobody directs the energy. Stupendous. Bizarre. Baffling. A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.” – Henry Miller
9) “New York was a city where you could be frozen to death in the midst of a busy street and nobody would notice.” – Bob Dylan
10) “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
11) “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
12) “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
13) “A hundred times I have thought: New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: it is a beautiful catastrophe.” – Le Corbusier
14) “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
15) “I can’t with any conscience argue for New York with anyone. It’s like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they’re a drunk or a thief. I’ve loved the city my whole life – to me, it’s like a great woman.” – Woody Allen
16) “When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough.” – Fran Lebowitz
17) “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
Short New York Quotes
These short and sweet quotes about New York will give you a small bite of the Big Apple that will ignite your own city wanderlust.
18) “Make your mark in New York and you are a made man.” – Mark Twain
19) “New York to me, means the world.” – Donna Karan
20) “If you’re bored in New York, it’s your own fault.” – Myrna Loy
21) “If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.” – Peter Shaffer
22) “New York: where everyone mutinies but no one deserts.” – Harry Hershfield
23) “In New York, you can literally walk outside, and wind up anywhere.” – Michael Rapaport
24) “The glamour of it all! New York! America!” – Charlie Chaplin
25) “Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life.” – Irving Berlin
26) “London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful.” – Dorothy Parker
27) “In New York you’ve got to have all the luck.” – Charles Bukowski
28) “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” – Simone Beauvoir
29) “New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed… a race for rent.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
30) “When you leave New York you ain’t going anywhere.” – Jimmy Breslin
31) “You haven’t lived until you died in New York.” – Alexander Woollcott
32) “New York is really the place to be; to go to New York, you’re going to the center of the world, the lion’s den.” – Zubin Mehta
33) “It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.” – Agatha Christie
34) “I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.” – Ayn Rand
New York Quotes About 9/11
The events of September 11, 2001, have a resounding impact on New Yorkers even today. These New York 9/11 quotes express gratitude for the bravery and resilient spirit of New York.
35) “Five years from the date of the attack that changed our world, we’ve come back to remember the valor of those we lost—those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them. We have also come to be ever mindful of the courage of those who grieve for them, and the light that still lives in their hearts.”, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani
36) “The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center and now it’s gone. They attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can’t beat that. – Jon Stewart
37) “Every time I come to New York, I remember how powerful the spirit of this city is. Especially today. NYC, I love you.” – Ellen DeGeneres
38) “The next morning, I went back to the open vantage from which we had watched the tower so dreadfully slip from sight. The fresh sun shone on the eastward façades, a few boats tentatively moved in the river, the ruins were still sending out smoke, but New York looked glorious.” – John Updike
New York Book Quotes
Some of the great classic novels are set amongst the hubbub of New York City’s streets. These are the best book quotes about New York from some of the greatest wordsmiths the world has ever know.
39) “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.” – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
40) “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
41) “One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Tom Wolfe
42) “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
43) “New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water.” – Truman Capote
44) “So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn’t like my parents. I didn’t have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. 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
Celebrity Quotes About New York
Famous people in the States generally live in New York or LA, and those that are loyal to the East Coast fall more in love with it everyday. These are just a few of the most memorable and best celebrity quotes about New York.
45) “The middle finger is more New York than a corporate ambush. I bleed for my hometown, and I’d die for my fans.” – Lady Gaga
46) “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
47) “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
48) “New York has a thousand universes in it that don’t always connect but we do all walk the same streets, hear the same sirens, ride the same subways, see the same headlines in the Post, read the same writings on the walls. That shared landscape gets inside of all of us and, in some small way, unites us, makes us think we know each other even when we don’t.” – Jay Z
49) “I didn’t know the city at all, but I was so happy to be in New York I cried. I was so excited.” – Greta Gerwig
50) “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
51) “For me, New York is comfortable, not strange.” – Karl Lagerfeld
52) “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
Funny New York Quotes
From the franctic pace of the sidewalks to the unique quirkiness of New York natives, these funny New York quotes are so hilarious and so true.
53) “A New York doctor has finished a five year study on what smells have the biggest effect on New Yorkers. The smell New Yorkers like the most: vanilla. The smell New Yorkers like the least: New Jersey.” – Jay Leno
54) “If a newspaper prints a sex crime, it’s smut, but when The New York Times prints it, it’s a sociological study.” – Adolph S. Ochs
55) “New York is the only city in the world where you can get deliberately run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian.” – Russell Baker
56) “Manhattan is an accumulation of possible disasters that never happen.” – Ed Koch
57) “On a New York subway you get fined for spitting, but you can throw up for nothing.” – Lewis Grizzard
58) “Of course, in Los Angeles, everything is based on driving, even the killings. In New York, most people don’t have cars, so if you want to kill a person, you have to take the subway to their house. And sometimes on the way, the train is delayed and you get impatient, so you have to kill someone on the subway. That’s why there are so many subway murders; no one has a car.” – George Carlin
59) “Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.” – Johnny Carson
60)”New York may be the city that never sleeps, but it sure does sleep around.” – Brian Bendis
61) “On my first day in New York a guy asked me if I knew where Central Park was. When I told him I didn’t he said, ‘Do you mind if I mug you here?’” – Paul Merton
62) “I think that’s how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, ‘Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough. Let’s go West.’” – Richard Jeni
63) “The flag of New York City should be someone with four bags opening a door with their shoulder.” – Alex Baze
64) “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.’” – 30 Rock
65) “I love New York City. The reason I live in New York City is because it’s the loudest city on the planet Earth. It’s so loud I never have to listen to any of the shit that’s going on in my own head. It’s really loud. They literally have guys come with jackhammers and they drill the streets and just leave cones in front of your apartment; you don’t even know why. Garbage men come; they don’t pick up the garbage, they just bang the cans together.” – Lewis Black
66) “New York now leads the world’s great cities in the number of people around whom you shouldn’t make a sudden move.” – David Letterman
67) “One of the big things I miss about New York is not my friends so much; it’s Shake Shack, the burger place. I miss Shake Shack.” – Aziz Ansari
68) “Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.” – Angela Carter
New York Instagram Captions & Quotes
Heading to New York City and need a special caption for the many Instagram snaps you’re sure to upload? I have the best list of New York Instagram captions to speak the words you just can’t find.
69) “New York is not a city. It’s a world.”
70) “New York, I love you.”
71) “Somewhere between living and dreaming, there’s New York.”
72) “New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”
73) “New York state of mind.”
74) “I’m having an affair with New York.”
75) “I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps.”
76) “New York state of mind.”
77) “Sleepless in the city that never sleeps.”
78) “Taking a bite out of the Big Apple.”
79) “Late nights. Bright lights.”
80) “I’ll see you in a New York minute.”
New York Movie & TV Quotes
The final scene of Sleepless in Seattle atop the Empire State building. Carrie Bradshaw and friends strutting their stuff around the city. The gangs of old timey New York ageing war against each other. These movie and TV quotes about New York will made you want to rediscover the magic of these screen classics.
81) “My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city.” – Gangs of New York
82) “So maybe it won’t look like youj thought it would in high school. But it’s important to remember that love is possible. Anything is possible. This is New York.” – Sex and the City
83) “I love New York City…you’re never alone but you’re always on your own.” – Gossip Girl
84) “I am NOT going to New York to meet some woman who could be a crazy, sick lunatic! Didn’t you see Fatal Attraction?” – Sleepless In Seattle
85) “He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion. Better. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. ..//. He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street smart guys who seemed to know all the angles. Ah, corny, too corny for, you know, my taste. Let me, let me try and make it more profound.” – Manhattan
86) “Here we are Marv. New York City, the land of opportunity.” – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
87) “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” – You’ve Got Mail
88) “I just threw away a lifetime of guilt-free sex and floor seats for every sporting event in Madison Square. So please, a little respect. For I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots.” – Seinfeld
89) “New York is AWESOME!” – Friends
90) “Why is everyone struggling in New York? Why don’t we all just move here and start the revolution? – Girls
New York Song Lyrics
These song lyrics about New York come from both native New York musicians and famous voices from afar that have drawn inspiration from the city. Time to create that New York playlist!
91) “I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.” – Frank Sinatra, New York, New York
92) “I’m in a New York state of mind.” – Billy Joel, New York State of Mind
93) “New York, you got money on your mind / And my words won’t make a dime’s worth a difference, so here’s to you New York.” Art Garfunkel, A Heart in New York
94) “When you first took my hand on a cold Christmas Eve / You promised me Broadway was waiting for me.” The Pogues, Fairytale of New York
95) “In New York / 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.” Jay Z & Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind
96) “Welcome to New York / It’s been waiting for you.” – Taylor Swift, Welcome to New York
97) “New York, I love you but you’re bringing me down.” – LCD Soundsystem, New York I Love You
98) “No sleep till Brooklyn!” – Beastie Boys, No Sleep Till Brooklyn
99) “Rambling out of the wild west / Leaving the towns I love best / Thought I’d seen some ups and down / ‘Till I come into New York town.” – Bob Dylan, Talkin’ New York
Did I miss any great quotes about New York?
There was so many amazing New York quotes, but if I’ve missed any exceptional ones – reach out to me! You can find me at my email address or on my social media accounts. While you’re there, be sure to follow me!
Looking for some New York and USA travel inspiration?
Awesome! A vacation to New York is something you just have to experience at least once in your lifetime. But while you’re in the USA – why not check out some other standout big cities across the States? Below I’ve linked my New York content, as well as some choice selection of my best United States travel blogs!
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- 37 California Music Festivals That’ll Keep You Dancing All Year Long
- 30 Cultural & Music Festivals in New Orleans To Keep You Busy All Year Long
- LA to SAN DIEGO DRIVE | 15 Great Stops to Make Along the Coast
- The 23 Best Rap & Hip Hop Festivals in the U.S.A
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