Heart of the City by Ariel Sabar
Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York

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Synopsis

The handsome Texas sailor who offers dinner to a runaway in Central Park. The Midwestern college girl who stops a cop in Times Square for restaurant advice. The Brooklyn man on a midnight subway who helps a weary tourist find her way to Chinatown. The Columbia University graduate student who encounters an unexpected object of beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A public place in the world's greatest city. A chance meeting of strangers. A marriage. Heart of the City tells the remarkable true stories of nine ordinary couples--from the 1940s to the present--whose matchmaker was the City of New York. Intrigued by the romance of his own parents, who met in Washington Square Park, award-winning author Ariel Sabar set off on a far-ranging search for other couples who married after first meeting in one of New York City's iconic public spaces. Sabar conjures their big-city love stories in novel-like detail, drawing us into the hearts of strangers just as their lives are about to change forever. In setting the stage for these surprising, funny and moving tales, Sabar, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, offers a fascinating look at the role of place in how--and whether--people meet and fall in love. Heart of the City is a paean to the physical city as matchmaker, a tribute to the power of chance, and an eloquent reminder of why we must care about the design of urban spaces."The couples in this book hail from across America and the world. Most don't live in New York City. Some never did. What mattered to me was that they met there, in one of its iconic public places. Each of the nine stories begins just before that chance meeting--when they are strangers, oblivious to how, in moments, their lives will irrevocably change."―from the Introduction 
 

About Ariel Sabar

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Ariel Sabar's first book, My Father's Paradise, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. He is an award-winning former staff writer for the Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, and Providence Journal. His work has also appeared in the New York Times and Boston Globe, among many other publications. He teaches creative writing at The George Washington University and lives with his family in Washington, D.C.
 
Published January 11, 2011 by Da Capo Press. 274 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Heart of the City

Publishers Weekly

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Inspired by his parents' story of meeting in Washington Square Park, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Sabar (for My Father's Paradise) looks at the "environmental psychology" of New York City's iconic public spaces and asks, "Could some places actually encourage people to take the first ...

Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Heart of the City: Nine Stori...

New York Journal of Books

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Inspired by his parents meeting serendipitously in New York’s Washington Square Park, this is the question Ariel Sabar explores in his delightful collection of essays (stories, really) that recount initial contacts in notable landmarks of America’s most famous city, all of which resulted in marri...

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Heart of the City: Nine Stori...

Christian Science Monitor

My parents, who recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary, met on the Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, elevated subway platform in 1948.

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Heart of the City: Nine Stori...

Bookmarks Magazine

Heart of the City is a paean to the physical city as matchmaker, a tribute to the power of chance, and an eloquent reminder of why we must care about the design of urban spaces. "The couples in this book hail from across America and the world.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Heart of the City: Nine Stori...

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