What’s Your Favorite New York Book or Movie?

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A few friends of the blog share their favorites. What are yours?

I get a kick out of the slightly skewed perspective of New York showcased in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Characters climb into a taxi with the door painted “Gypsy Cab Co.” The family lives in a mansion way uptown and attends the 375th Street Y. As a bonus, Anderson makes many allusions to J.D. Salinger’s Glass family, some of my favorite New York characters in literature!—Kevin, Park Slope

Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon really encapsulates the desperation felt in late summer in New York City when all the wealthy have fled to the Hamptons and you are stuck here boiling. The movie also provides a good sense of how New Yorkers interact with one another when they are forced to. —MacKenzie, Greenpoint

Eyes Wide Shut – Film as fugue state as metaphor for so many Saturday nights in the city.—Jonathan, Windsor Terrace

Does Eloise count? It was my first introduction to New York City as a child, years before I even had the chance to visit. To this day, the book captures the magic of the city for me, the feeling that anything is possible here.—Lauren, Downtown Brooklyn

Rear Window highlights some of NYC’s worst qualities – sweltering summers and extremely close quarters. It’s not a love letter to the city yet manages to make you feel proud to be among those who can stand the heat.—Jen, Brooklyn Heights

Everything there is to know in life, we learned from The World of Henry Orient. Two teen girls follow a mysterious concert pianist around 1960s Manhattan, therein discovering the true meaning of friendship, how to put on rouge, and that the big rocks in Central Park are perfect for a stakeout.—Beryl and Jennie, Morningside Heights

I like The Liar’s Ball.  The book is about the sale of the GM Building and includes all the big real estate players—Trump, Harry Macklowe, Will Zeckendorf.  It’s a very cool look inside a big New York real estate deal.—Justin, Midtown West

My pick: I adore how Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem embraces the grit of 1980s New York with earnestness and awe in Coming to America. The film speaks to how the rawness of the city can enchant. And while I hold no romance for petty theft, crappy apartments, and armed robbery, I do think the movie effectively captures the essence of the weird and wonderful people who inhabit this city—from the barbershop men to the gawking subway riders to Elaine Kagan’s scene-stealing turn as the sarcastic Western Union worker.

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