The Best Sentence About Living in New York City

Marisha Pessl’s novel Night Film is definitely worthy of all the praise it has received. It’s gripping, surprising, and unlike many mysteries that rely on plot rather than on the quality of the writing to carry the reader forward, Night Film is full of syntax-ical gems. One of these may be the most accurate description about what it takes to live in New York. She (rather her narrator Scott) says “To live in this city for any extended period of time required masochism, moral flexibility, skin like an alligator’s, and mad jack-in-the-box resilience…” You have to be at least a little self-loathing to put up with New York City on a daily basis. The amount of emotional and physical stamina you need just to maintain a sense of calm when someone doesn’t understand how the lines at Whole Foods work is enough to require a lengthy nap and spa appointment. If living in New York has taught me anything, it’s that if you complain about everything that bothers you, you’ll be miserable. All the time. So few tiny annoyances have any real consequences. I’m not a count your blessings type of person, but sometimes that’s the only solution to powering through the days when the city feels like it’s punching you in the stomach and knocking the wind out of you with every step you take and dollar you spend.


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