This strangest of islands, I thought, as I looked out to the sea, this island that turned in on itself, and from which water had been banished. The shore was a carapace, permeable only at certain selected points. Where in this riverine city could one fully sense a riverbank?
The water was a kind of embarrassing secret, the unloved daughter, neglected, while the parks were doted on, fussed over, overused.
I knelt, and trailed my hand in the Hudson. It was frigid. Here we all were, ignoring that water, paying as little attention as possible to the pair of black eternities between which our little light intervened.
— Three quotes about New Yorkers’ relationship with the water, from Teju Cole’s Open City.