State By State

Friday, December 12, 2008

Contributers Jonathan Franzen, Rick Moody, and co-editor Sean Wilsey, talk about the book State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America.

There will be a reading of the book tonight at The New School featuring Franzen, author Sarah Vowell and actress Parker Posey among others.

Question of the Day When did you fall in (or out of) love with New York? (Or another state if you like.)


Jonathan Franzen, Rick Moody and Sean Wilsey

Comments [13]

richard benfield from piermont, ny

I fell in love with New York when at the age of 50 I met my now deceased wife in 1991. We lived there for a couple of years before moving 20 miles north. During those years and later, we walked through neighborhood after neighborhood both in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. I still do. A walk in New York is like taking a little trip.

Dick, Piermont, NY

Dec. 12 2008 12:09 PM
Ben from Westchester, NY

NY, all of it, not just the city, is indeed like a long term marriage. Comfortable, interesting, caring-- but there is that 'itch'. I have had wonderful affairs with DC and Alaska, lived through unexciting relationships with Florida and Texas and flirted with New Mexico and Maine. My heart, though, was left with northern California, the 'other' who was not to be.

Dec. 12 2008 11:11 AM
Shawn from Queens

My love affair with NYC began during the 8 years I lived in a small apt in the Diamond District, across from the Gotham bookstore in a prewar building with 4 occupied by a gentleman in his 70s who had lived there for at least a few decades, across the hall from him lived a Hispanic man who each night cleaned the deli below in bunny slippers and a poncho made of a black trashbag, all around us Hasidic men carrying diamonds and gems in brown paper bags and speaking hurriedly into their cellphones. I loved that there was such an air of contradiction everywhere....from my rooftop I saw only the silent majestic tops of skyscrapers, and in the street below I was jostled and elbowed by a whirr of people from all over, their faces flush with desire...selling old wedding rings and gold jewelry from no-longer-remembered relatives. buying diamond rings which promised so much.
Even though my building was torn down, the tenants displaced, to be replaced by a shiny new skyscraper, my love affair with the ever-changing incomprehensible New York City continues...this time in Astoria....

Dec. 12 2008 11:09 AM
Janny from jersey city

As a HS senior on spring break in 1979, I came to NYC to visit my boyfriend, who was a freshman at Parsons School of Design. His dorm was on Union Square, which at the time was not a pretty or safe place. Coming from the highly segregated (read: borderline racist) suburbs of Chicago, i loved the fabulous diversity of people - black! white! asian! gay! straight! not afraid to be 'artsy'! - and thought, THIS is where i need to live. I came here for school in the fall of 1980, and never looked back.

Dec. 12 2008 11:01 AM
christy rupp from nyc

I fell in love with NYC when as a kid in upstate buffalo my mom told me it was dangerous and that you could get anything in the world here
that was 53 years ago

i've lived here now for 32 years and am still in love

Dec. 12 2008 10:58 AM
Obi from NYC

I fell in love with NJ when I learned that I could rent or buy an apartment closer to midtown than from my Queens apartment for a fraction of the price.

Dec. 12 2008 10:58 AM
Laura Sue Phillips from Brooklyn

I fell in love with NY in 1987 as a visiting art student from California. I relocated and after 18 years, tried to "leave" this summer and return to Calif. I failed, and came running back after five weeks. I gave up a rent stabilized apt in the east village and two university adjunct positions. But I love NY so much, it's still worth it to be Home.

Dec. 12 2008 10:57 AM
Martell from Sunset Park

I arrived in Brooklyn from DR in 1992 when I was almost 10 and hated it, it was dirty, it was cold, kids gave hard time in school, and everyday felt like war. But by the time I was 17 I realized that I lived in the capital of the world and was proud survivor of the NY public system, that's when I started calling myself a NYer. I stopped taking Central Park, Yankee Stadium, Time Sq, Coney Is, etc., for granted.

Dec. 12 2008 10:56 AM
Melanie from Brooklyn

I fell in love with NYC when I was flying back and forth between here and Texas. I would often fly in at night, and the view from the plane is stunning. The lights of the city surrounded by the waters of the rivers and the ocean are mysterious and beguiling at night.

Dec. 12 2008 10:56 AM
KC Trommer from Sunnyside

I feel out of love with New York when I moved back after doing an MFA in the Midwest. A few years of space and privacy destroyed my New York carapace and has made my tolerance for the grime and elbows almost nil. It's a great city in which to be young and ambitious, less wonderful when you find your niche and don't need to prove yourself as much.

Dec. 12 2008 10:55 AM
Caitlin from Sunset Park

Thanks for making this book happen! It's a great way to find new (to me) authors. However, I'm sorry to say I didn't get to read Wyoming and DC before I had to return it to the library.

Dec. 12 2008 10:55 AM
a woman from manhattan

Wait a minute. THe way I understand it, the govt employed these writers who LATER became famous. But this book is using already famous writers. So? How has this book helped the unknowns who actually need the help? Or was that just not the point, and is just a reference to something good to make this book seem beneficial by (implied) connection.

Dec. 12 2008 10:54 AM
Todd from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Thank you for doing this book. It's one of the first items on my Christmas wish list this year.

Can we expect Obama to include writers and artists in his plans to put people back to work?

Dec. 12 2008 10:49 AM

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