New York City is the endlessly romantic backdrop for more literary love stories than we could possibly count. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the NYPL asked their book experts for their favorite tales of love and the city; then they put them on a map for our exploration–and reading–pleasure.
On the map, you can click on the red hearts and find titles and authors, then scroll for some background on the book and the romantic hotspots within. The list contains a whole shelf’s worth of fabulous fiction, so it’s worth a look for romantic book suggestions even if your sofa is your favorite romantic location.
In the iconic Truman Capote rom-com, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,”
“One scene is set in the main reading room of The New York Public Library; the nameless narrator, unseen, observes Holly Golightly in an unlikely environment as she “sped from one book to the next,” researching her hoped-for future life in Brazil. In the film version with Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, two scenes, more romantically charged, were actually filmed in the Library.
—Kathie Coblentz, Special Collections
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a cornerstone of the city’s mythical cultural reputation, making it a magnet for tales of love, complicated and otherwise:
In Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, a novel brimming with New York’s Gilded Age high society, Newland Archer falls in love with the Countess Ellen Olenska. Archer is enthralled by Ellen and cannot help but desperately love her, an emotion that Ellen eventually admits to returning. Since they’re both married, though, any amorous relationship between them would condemn them forever. The majority of the New York locations happen around 5th Ave. between 57th and 58th Streets, but the scene where Ellen and Archer finally agree to consummate their relationship happens at the “Art Museum”, largely believed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
—Katrina Ortega, Hamilton Grange
Images courtesy of New York Public Library.
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