e.b. white’s new york (via explore. dream. discover.)

“No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.”
~ E.B. White

I have loved that quote since I decided I simply had to live in New York. It feels like it’s simultaneously a challenge and a promise of great opportunity.

So I loved stumbling onto this post on the blog “explore. dream.discover” — a snippet is below, along with a link:

e.b. white's new york Before moving to the city, I obsessively read about it. Throughout my research, people often referenced E.B. White’s essay, “Here is New York.” I didn’t get a chance to read it until after I’d already moved, and perhaps it was better that way. Much of what he says can only be understood by experiencing it. A former New Yorker, White wrote the essay on a visit in the summer of 1948. He recalled arriving in the city as a young writer, bolstered by … Read More

via explore. dream. discover.

In this post, a synopsis of White’s essay, there are great insights into what it’s like to live in New York, including this:

“The city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience — if they did they would live elsewhere.”

Thanks to ZENyc, I recently discovered another excellent blog, Christa in New York. Christa wrote something a lot like White’s musing this summer:

Honestly, if you’re not interested in growth and change, I would recommend living someplace else. New York City is just too difficult a place to make your home unless you love to push yourself every day. I love New York City – I’m probably a lifer – but it is not for everyone and I understand why people choose to move. There’s no shame in that at all; it’s just a matter of priorities.

What’s life about? Is it comfort and ease? Is it growth and discovery? Relaxation or striving?

I struggle with this tension a lot — but I think life is definitely about being willing to be lucky.


Categories: home and family, lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Thank you for the link. I’d love to take credit for the great response on that entry, but I’ll just tip my hat to Mr. White 😉

  2. “What’s life about? Is it comfort and ease? Is it growth and discovery? Relaxation or striving?”

    I’ve written my first novel based solely on these very questions. It may be almost impossible to figure out the ways and means of the universe, and we may get closer as science advances, however the absolute truth is still unknown.

    What I think? I think the point of life is to always strive for the best, to always be happy with where you are, but strive to know more, to do better, to be a better person. To do you very best to leave a beneficial mark on this world.

    • Jennifer,

      Personally I think the answer is probably the same as in lots of other aspects of life — somewhere in the middle.
      As I get older, I still definitely value striving to get the most out of my finite time on earth, but I’m less motivated by external measures of achievement and more focused on the pleasure of good relationships with family and friends.

      I look forward to learning more about your novel. Congratulations.


  3. Hi Colleen,
    Thanks so much for the shoutout! I love the E.B. White quote. How true that statement is, regardless of where we call home.


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