the opening paragraph of e.b. white's here is new york:
"on any person who desires such queer prizes, new york will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy. it is this largess that accounts for the presence within the city's walls of a considerable section of the population; for the residents of manhattan are to a large extent strangers who have pulled up stakes somewhere and come to town, seeking sanctuary or fulfillment or some greater or lesser grail. the capacity to make such dubious gifts is a mysterious quality of new york. it can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. no one should come to new york to live unless he is willing to be lucky."