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At City Room, Jennifer 8. Lee has a thoughtful riff on E. B. White’s searing, searching essay “This Is New York”—an excerpt from which is running on the subway as part of the “Train of Thought” series—and White’s description of the “roughly three New Yorks”:
There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter—the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night.

Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last—the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements.
As Lee writes, “The selection, which is supposed to represent a slice of history, seems particularly meaningful on the subway.”

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