Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York

Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York

by Ariel Sabar


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306820809
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ariel Sabar is an award-winning former staff writer for the Baltimore Sun and Providence Journal whose work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine and Boston Globe. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

A Note on Method xxxv

Nine Stories

Green: Central Park 1

Collision: The Street 27

Navigation: Grand Central Teriminal 49

Freestanding: Liberty Enlightening The World 69

Depths: The Subway 89

Elevation: Empire State Building 111

Crossroads: Times Square 137

Renovations: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art 161

Sightlines: Washington Square Park 183

Epilogue 205

Postscripts 211

Acknowledgments 233

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Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Lynie More than 1 year ago
In HEART OF THE CITY, Ariel Sabar introduces us to nine couples who met by chance at different landmarks or places in New York City from the 1940's through present day. The lenghty introduction in the book delves into the environmental and psychological effects of physical space on human interaction. The author infuses architecture into each story, providing us with short historical vignettes. Being married to an architect who is currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning, this was especially enthralling. As I finished each couple's story, my mind was racing with questions. What happened to them? What became of twenty-five year old Chris and forty year old Tina who met on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty in 1988? Are they still married twenty-two years later? Or Joey and Willis who met in Central Park so many years ago? Mr. Sabar very deftly provided the answers to all of my questions in the postscripts. This is a beautiful, fascinating and intelligent book about the impact of our physical environment and the happenstance of meeting and falling in love. HEART OF THE CITY was a delight to read. Lynn Kimmerle
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I suspect that many people, when they first pick up Ariel Sabar's new book, Heart of the City, will mistake it for a short story collection. After all, the book's subtitle is: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York. The book, in actual fact, is a collection of nine true stories about married couples who met somewhere in one of New York City's public spaces: in Central Park, on a midtown street late at night, inside Grand Central Terminal, on a ferry headed to the Statue of Liberty, on the subway, at the top of the Empire State Building, in Times Square, inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or in Washington Square Park. Sabar, inspired by the fact that his own parents met in Washington Square Park, presents an interesting premise as the basis of Heart of the City. It is the author's contention that chance meetings in unusually beautiful or iconic settings actually "encourage" couples to fall in love. In order to test this theory of "environmental psychology," Sabar, after a good deal of effort searching for suitable couples, chose the stories of nine of them for presentation in the book. The stories include one about two people who met, and fell in love, in Central Park in 1941 when he was a sailor on leave and she was homeless and sleeping in the park at night. There's another one about two loners who meet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art where, despite the heavy odds against him, he manages to impress her with his sincerity just barely enough to get her to stop running from him. And, then, there's my personal favorite, the story of a young German man who meets the woman (and her young son) who will turn out to be the love of his life while on a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty. Heart of the City includes a 24-page introduction explaining Sabar's theory and how he arrived at it. There is also a postscripts section at the end to bring to bring the reader up-to-date with each of the nine couples featured, and an epilogue in which the author reflects on what he learned while writing the book. Strangely enough, the epilogue's last paragraph leaves me with the impression that Sabar might be questioning his theory a little: "Most of the couples in this book told me they would not have met but for place. The landmarks and public spaces where they spoke their first words were not mere backdrops. They were villages - a small place within a larger one - that slowed time just long enough for two busy people to catch each other's eye. In rereading their stories recently, though, I noted something that mattered at least as much: the couples were open, and ready, to fall in love." The relative sameness of the nine stories makes me wonder if Sabar might have built a stronger case for his theory by focusing on one or two couples whose marriages failed, indicating perhaps that they were so caught up in the moment, and in the location, that their initial judgment about each other may have been impaired. Rated at: 3.0
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book in people magazine and thought it would be interesting to read. I am very happy I purchased this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this every night. It had great stories and made you look at people and the city a little differently! Loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading about the different places that people met in New York. It was very personal, since one of the stories was about my best friend, so I thought the book was great and that the author did a terrific job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
really interesting account of how places influence people's behavior especially in meeting new people/falling in love. sweet and fun accounts of real people and their "how we met" stories. Highly recommended!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Book located by staff;I was unsure about what section is would be in.