I’ve always had a love-hate-love relationship with New York, and I can’t possibly imagine why you’d care about my reasons. I welcome every opportunity to visit. And I’m never sorry to leave. It takes about four days before I finally just give up: you win, New York. I can’t imagine living there, and I can’t imagine not wanting to be there tomorrow.

Certain parts of the city have always felt like home, and I think that’s because I studied the place for a long time before I went there. The architecture was familiar. Nowadays I look for what’s left, not what’s new.

Brick structures 40 stories tall seem bigger than glass buildings twice as high. The brick is a unit everyone understands, and when you see an enormous structure made of brick, you can instantly imagine the hands that grasped them, the gestures that lifted them, the men who put them in their place with the others.

Glass is beautiful too, but that’s someone else’s site. This is devoted to New York before Modernism, for the most part. Almost 200 pages of images arranged and explained as best as I could. The site went up in 2000, I think, and I toyed with it here and there before letting it go fallow. Everything that was on the site before is still here, with a few exceptions. I hope you enjoy it.

Lileks

2019