In Impromptus, my series “The Fate of New York” continues today. I mention and quote an essay we published in June 1999. (“We” National Review.) It is Norman Podhoretz’s “My New York: An intellectual considers his city, from LaGuardia to Giuliani and beyond.” It is one of the very best pieces we have published during my time at NR. And, as I say in my series, it is, in my view, one of the best pieces published by any magazine in the last 25 years or so. In analysis, style, and moral seriousness, it is a feat.
It is also, in this year when the Giuliani-Bloomberg era in New York is drawing to a close, highly “relevant.” I put that word in quotation marks, because it is one of my least favorite words of contemporary life (for reasons I could get into). A first-rate essay is probably never irrelevant.
When I wrote today’s installment, I did not have a link to “My New York,” given that it was published in ancient times, i.e., 14 years ago. But thanks to my colleague Chris McEvoy, I now have a link: here. Podhoretz’s essay is long, in this tweety world. But it more than repays our time.