Monday, February 14, 2011

Love or Loneliness in New York City?: Ariel Sabar and the Heart of the City

 New York City is often described as ‘real’ with its streets pocketing communities and entire cultures. Passing strangers on the sidewalk, one attains glimpses into the most personal details of other people’s lives. National Book Critics Circle Award winning author Ariel Sabar writes, “New York City demands engagement with strangers. The sidewalks and subways are so crowded that we have no choice but to overhear private conversations and see faces at distances normally reserved for intimates.”

Photo from

The city is so often the proponent and muse for incredible ideas and events. In his newest book Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York, Sabar shares stories of chance meetings and serendipity in New York. He notes, “It seemed like a quintessential New York story: two vastly different people brought together by chance in America’s greatest city. It said a lot about our country, I thought. It showed how immigrants here could leap borders of culture and class in ways unthinkable back home. It showed how in a society as fluid as America’s, any two people could fall in love, anywhere.”

In a city so bustling and alive with people both young and old, the idea of urban loneliness is frequently being challenged. Sabar recently pointed out an interesting New York Magazine article on the subject called “Alone Together.”

Does a place so full of life perpetuate isolation or does it bring people together? What do you think?  Do you have a story of serendipity in the city?

Ariel Sabar will present his new book on Tuesday, February 15th at 6:30 PM at Tenement Talks. Come and share your own thoughts and stories.

--Posted by Amy G.

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