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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Title: Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York
Author: Ariel Sabar
Pages: 232
Genre: Non-Fiction; Stories
Publisher: Da Capo Press (Perseus Book Group)
Pub. Date: January 11, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!! ♥ ♥ ♥

You must realize how excited I was when I saw this book. I'm surprised I didn't hear more about it before it came out. But as soon as I saw it I realized it would be the perfect book to review for Valentine's Day! And every story in this book takes place in my favorite place ever!.... NYC!!

Now, I've veered far from those romantic ideals I had as a young girl and the "love stories" you find in a lot of fiction. I feel like, despite being in a very happy marriage, that I'm far too cynical to enjoy them sometimes. BUT, there is something to be said about those love stories that are true. Maybe they're more believable because they really happened? Or maybe it had just been a while and I was in the mood for some good love stories. Whatever it was, I really enjoyed this book.

In the introduction to this book, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, author Ariel Sabar, discusses how place has such a hidden force in how people meet and in what transpires from there. He also discusses a little about what makes New York City one of the greatest in the world. Inspired by his own parents' story of meeting in NYC, Sabar broke his book down into the stories of nine couples ranging from the 1940's to the 2000's who met in various parts of NYC. Some lived there at the time and others met while passing through. Each of the nine stories also takes place in a different part of NYC: Central Park, on the street, on the subway (one of my favorites!), at Grand Central Station, at the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, in Times Square (another of my favorite stories), at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at Washington Square Park.

Each of the stories warmed even my cold, cynical heart. (Okay, I exaggerate about my coldness, but nevertheless, these stories did what they intended). Immediately after finishing each story I flipped to the back to read the postscript and find out what happened to the couple at the completion of their story of meeting. I loved how through their stories I was able to re-visit each of these famous locations. (Have I mentioned how much I love NYC!!) After reading these stories I immediately felt like writing one of my own. (I never did, but I might get around to it one of these days). Some of these couples didn't have the easiest beginnings either, but those ended up being a testament to true love and couples who were meant to be together. Basically, I loved reading each of these stories and I think you will too!

So how did you meet your significant other?

This book can be found on my


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wow. Cool. I hadn't heard of this.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Melissa said...

This sounds great! I love NYC, and I'm a sucker for stories about love and relationships. I have to put this on my list.

Zibilee said...

I love Ariel Sabar and now I really want to read this book! I am not big on romance books, but this one sounds like it has an interesting flavor and perspective. I actually met my husband through an online dating service, and boy did I make the right choice!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Ahh New York. I met my hubby at the bookstore I worked at over ten years ago now. We married six years ago!

Trish said...

I enjoy books like this every once in a while. Fun little stories of others serendipitous moments.

My husband and I were next door neighbors! I always joke with him that he married the girl next door. ;) Funny thing is we only lived next door to each other for a few weeks before he moved--we just bonded very very quickly (were friends before there was romance).

Hope you and your husband had a wonderful Valentine's Day!!

vinay said...

These are really very great Love Stories. I really appreciated your site and the variety and style of love stories.

Carin S. said...

My BF was my waiter at brunch. My girlfriend wanted me to leave the cute waiter my card but I refused. When we reached the parking lot she confessed she had left her card... with my phone number and a note that said I thought he was cute and nice and he should call me. A week later he did. & months later, we're about to go on a cruise! Thanks goodness for pushy friends!

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