My New York Obsession

25 Obsession-Worthy Things About New York City in 2018

Four simple words on the subway. A lifesaving doughnut. Trees. Wherever you turn in our magnificent and maddening city, deep passion awaits you.

Photo by Mac Montandon

I have a magnet on my fridge. Actually, I have many, many magnets on my fridge. Too many. But one that I bought at the Strand a few years ago I think about often. It contains a quote by filmmaker, writer, part-time New Yorker, and all-around wonderful human John Waters: “Without obsession life is nothing.” He’s right. Obsessions are in the same family as passions—and who doesn’t love and need passion? Who wants to live in a world without obsessions?

Earlier this year we started writing down all the reasons we are obsessed with New York City. For a new weekly WSWD column (My New York Obsession, of course), we asked many of the city’s finest writers to cast an eye around their subway car or neighborhood, or anywhere at all, really, and let us know what about our still-great town moved them to the point of obsession. Boy, did they respond! And so, in no particular order, below are the city’s people, places, and things that collectively we couldn’t stop thinking about in 2018—and now you won’t be able to either! (That’s how obsession works.) Happy reading and happy holidays—may your New Year be filled with plenty of obsession-worthy moments.

• The button shop that’s also a time machine.
• A park ranger fantasy.
Surprising subway poetry.
• Brooklyn’s little houses.
Pat Kiernan.
• The most romantic place to dance.
• A life-changing calzone.
• Some life-changing noodles.
• Life-changing Cuban comfort food (yeah, we like to eat—not sorry!).
• This superodd sculpture at the Met.
• The place where one writer’s parents fell in love.
• The Manhattan block where another writer fell in love herself.
• The world’s second-largest menorah.
New York’s smell.
• Those weirdly addictive aisles of Ricky’s.
• A mysterious bodega.
• A doughnut that could save you.
• A demonic store on St. Mark’s Place.
• This two-mile stretch of road.
• Michael Musto’s favorite piano bar.
• A public bathroom fit for a frickin’ queen.
• Waiting in this savory line.
• Stinky, delicious, small-batch natto.
Three Lives & Co.
• Trees. Especially this one tree.

Get as obsessed with NYC as we are.