“He had a theory about it. It happened, and re-happened, because it was a city uninterested in history. Strange things occured precisely because there was no necessary regard for the past. The city lived in a sort of everyday present. it had no need to believe in itself as a London, or an Athens, or even a signifier of the New World, like a Sydney, or a Los Angeles. No, the city couldn’t care less about where it stood. He had seen a t-shirt once said: NEW YORK FUCKIN’ CITY. As if it were the only place that ever existed and the only one that ever would.”

Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin, 2008