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Heart of the City

Nine New York love stories: Can a city be a matchmaker?

Heart of the City:
Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York
By Ariel Sabar
Da Capo
235 pp.

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My parents, who recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary, met on the Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, elevated subway platform in 1948. They were introduced by a mutual acquaintance, and my father, a brash, brainy 20-year-old, managed to snag the seat next to my pretty mother for their long commute up to the Washington Heights campus of New York University. Well before they reached their destination, he’d arranged their first date.

In Heart of the City, Ariel Sabar, whose parents met in Washington Square Park on Labor Day, 1966, chronicles nine love stories that began with chance encounters at various New York City landmarks. He wonders, “Could a vibrant public space, in some subtle but essential way, play matchmaker?”


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