The City We Became


The City We Became

I believe that if I had known a bit more about new York before starting the book, I would have been able to enjoy it more. The story was pretty different to anything else I’ve read, but I felt lost at times because there were too many references to NY places and history.


Unrestricted? That, Bronca really doesn’t believe. Philanthropists don’t think nonprofits know how to spend money—or that they won’t just embezzle it all. Because that’s what they would do if the chance presented itself, she suspects, and they figure everyone has the same wonky moral compass. It’s time to call bullshit. — p. 212

It was important, they’d told her, to know where her food came from, and to understand that not just one, but many deaths had enabled her survival. Therefore it was crucial that she use every part of the animal, as much as she could, and take no more than she needed. To kill under those circumstances, or to survive, was respectful. To kill for any other reason was monstrous. — p. 277

“Starbucks is everywhere,” Hong rumbles. “All over my city, too. Big chain stores make a city less unique, more like every other place.” — p. 345

And because belonging is as quintessential to Staten Island–ness as toughness is to the Bronx and starting over is to Queens and weathering change is to Brooklyn […] — p. 368

“Stop thinking about that shit,” she says. “Some thoughts are poison. You can think them, but only when you’ve got the strength—or therapy, whichever floats your boat. ‘Til then? Right now? Close it off. Focus on right here and now.” — p. 371