a city more at home in the world than in its home country

New York sits at the edge: like Istanbul or Mumbai, it has a distinctive appeal that lies precisely in its cantankerous relationship to the metropolitan territory beyond. It looks outward, and is thus attractive to people who would not feel comfortable further inland. It has never been American in the way that Paris is French: New York has always been about something else as well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/opinion/08judt.html?pagewanted=2&_r=3

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