Tony Judt on New York, 'World Cities' and Decline

Tony Judt, the British historian and intellectual, died in August after a genuinely courageous battle with ALS, and we already miss him. So it was a treat to read a new essay of his in The New York Times.

You should read the whole thing—it'll take you five minutes—but to give you a taste:

And yet, New York remains a world city. It is not the great American city - that will always be Chicago. New York sits at the edge: like Istanbul or Mumbai, it has a distinctive appeal that lies precisely in its cantankerous relationship to the metropolitan territory beyond. It looks outward, and is thus attractive to people who would not feel comfortable further inland. It has never been American in the way that Paris is French: New York has always been about something else as well.

And, oh, this one too:

To be sure, we all have our complaints. And while there is no other city where I could imagine living, there are many places that, for different purposes, I would rather be. But this too is a very New York sentiment. Chance made me an American, but I chose to be a New Yorker. I probably always was.

What are you waiting for? Read it!