Magazine December 15, 2008, Issue

As Dreams Are Made One

U.S. flags and the Chrysler Building are reflected in a window during the Independence Day holiday weekend in New York City, July 6, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Richard Brookhiser Extracts Old from New

We’re new. We put it in our name. When we stop looking ahead, remove the internal organs and inject formaldehyde; we’ll be dead. And yet a time comes when even a New Yorker realizes that, simply by staying put, in this world and in one spot, he has seen places that have vanished, and known people that no one can ever meet. Everyone is a historian, every life is a city.

Some things are better off gone. In Union Square today, farmers sell rutabagas, dogs run, guys fall off skateboards. They wouldn’t have dreamed of it 30 years ago. The

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