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Never Can Say Goodbye

Never Can Say Goodbye

A Book Review

By Ashley Hutchinson

 

I like New York City. This should not come as much of a shock, considering my most recent post was a love letter to it. There's something to glean from every day when living here, something new to learn, something new to taste, experience, and explore. That sentiment is echoed in my latest read, "Never Can Say Goodbye," a collection of essays by writers on their "unshakeable love for New York," edited by Sari Botton. 

Writers have always had an appreciation for the City. There's something about our surroundings here that bring things out of us: so many things come out of the woodwork, so many faces that are strange and familiar that become recurring characters in our lives and stories.

Maybe it's the every day magic of small human interactions in unlikely places--a detail that particularly struck Nick Flynn, author of "The Replacements," the last essay in the book. The run ins on the street with people you haven't seen in years (in Flynn's case, his old friend Eli, "of Provincetown in 1999 and Rome in 2001" and in my own, my old friend Emily, from sleep away camp 2007, among others), the chance meetings you have with people you've seen on the train, or maybe meeting someone that lives on your street, or even in your building...while not in your building. Finding this synchronicity in life is a feat made possible by the seemingly endless possibility that flows through these bustling streets. You never know who you might bump into.

New York may hold its fascination to these writers not necessarily in the vastness of it, or the streets, or bars, or parks; but in the people populating those places. The people we want to ignore, or invite in. The city is just a collection of people's stories, all wrapped inside a huge and intimate network of steel and concrete. These writers' stories and essays are special. Their stories, and their friend's stories, and their friend's friend's stories, make up a giant chorus. We're all just trying to make it here. And if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. 

Please read this book. It's heartwarming and quick, and it will make your morning commute a little more palatable. 

 

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