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"A beguiling romp"
– New York Times
"Thoroughly engaging...A sparkling love letter to the city."
"Cozy, seductive narratives [that] illuminate how NYC's adrenaline-spiking public spaces help steer potential lovers together."
– Kirkus Reviews
"What to Read in 2011: New Titles Bound to Make a Splash"
– Christian Science Monitor
The dirt-poor Texas sailor who offers dinner to a runaway in Central Park. The North Dakota college girl who asks a cop in Times Square for restaurant advice. The Brooklyn music reviewer on a midnight subway who shows a weary Filipino tourist the way to Chinatown. The Columbia University graduate student who encounters an unexpected object of beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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.
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.
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.
Read an essay adapted from the book