After all, spinning is its own reward. There wouldn't be carousels if it weren't so.— Adam Gopnik
The most glamorous Adam Gopnik quotes that will activate your desire to change
Going to a restaurant is one of my keenest pleasures.
Meeting someplace with old and new friends, ordering wine, eating food, surrounded by strangers, I think is the core of what it means to live a civilised life.
Men choose Hamlet because every man sees himself as a disinherited monarch.
Women choose Alice [in Wonderland] because every woman sees herself as the only reasonable creature among crazy people who think they are disinherited monarchs.
The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.
Frauds master our minds; magicians, like poets and lovers, engage them in a permanent maze of possibilities.
When handsome men or beautiful women take up the work of the intellect, it impresses us because we know they could have chosen other paths to being impressive; that they chose the path of the mind suggests that there is on it something more worthwhile than a circuitous route to the good things that the good-looking get just by showing up.
Americans also seem to believe that the monarchy is a kind of mediaeval hangover, encumbered by premodern notions of decorum; the reality is that the British monarchy, for good or ill, is a modern political institution - perhaps the first modern political institution.
The French believe that all errors are distant, someone else's fault.
Americans believe that there is no distance, no difference, and therefore that there are no errors, that any troubles are simple misunderstandings, consequent on your not yet having spoken English loudly enough.
What drives innovation is abundance and ease, not the pressure of scarcity.
Sometimes having a good time can be the outward evidence of a deep re-thinking.
Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America-more than six million-than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.
Nothing in a graduate degree in art history prepares you for the eloquence of the eraser.
Cooking is the showy side of domesticity.
For all the years I'd spent talking about pictures, the truth was that I had no idea how to draw or what it felt like to do it. I would mistrust a poetry critic who couldn't produce a rhyming couplet. Could one write about art without knowing how to draw?
Wit and puns aren't just décor in the mind;
they're essential signs that the mind knows it's on, recognizes its own software, can spot the bugs in its own program.
Drawing is one of those things which sit on the uneasy bending line between instinct and instruction, where seeming perversity eventually trumps pleasure as the card players and the kibitzers interact and new thrills are sought.
I still think the best classic meal in New York is a coffee-shop breakfast - you sort of can't skip it.
Daniel Levitin takes the most sophisticated ideas that exist about the brain and mind, applies them to the most emotionally direct art we have, our songs, and makes beautiful music of the two together.
Whatever sense of professional competence we feel in adult life is less the sum of accomplishment than the absence of impossibility: it's really our relief at no longer having to do things we were never good at doing in the first place - relief at never again having to dissect a frog or memorize the periodic table.
Of all the alchemies of human connection-sex and childbirth and marriage and friendship-the strangest is this: You can stand up and tell a story that is made entirely, embarrassingly, of "I's," and a listening audience somehow turns each "I" into a "me." This alchemy, of self-absorption into shared experience, is the alchemy of all literature.
I think I'm more intensely opinionated when I speak; more agreeably balanced when I write.
I rush to add that I find the Web infinitely useful for rustling up information, settling arguments or locating the legends of rock stars.
... a fact about photography: we can look at people's faces in photographs with an intensity and intimacy that in life we normally only reserve for extreme emotional states - for a first look at someone we may sleep with, or a last look at someone we love.
For me, the beauty of the blank page, or empty screen,staring up at nine thirty after two cups of coffee and a deep breath remains unique. The blankness invites scribbling on, mental drawing , and the best feeling I know - apart from the more obvious sensual ones - is the feeling of putting down the first thought and seeing it turn into symbols. Making an idea into an emotion.
If you're being attacked from all sides, it's possible you're doing something right; it's also possible that you are doing everything wrong.
The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life.
The future will be like the past, in the sense that, no matter how amazing or technologically advanced a society becomes, the basic human rhythm of petty malevolence, sordid moneygrubbing, and official violence, illuminated by occasional bursts of loyalty or desire or tenderness, will go on.
Writing doesn't come easily to anyone, I think, certainly not to me.
But pressure and practice does lend a certain fluency, I think - the more sentences you write, the more sentences you have written, if that slightly Zen confection makes any sense.
Dinner with water is dinner for prisoners
We've had mass shootings in the United States in the part of violent antiabortion protesters, in the part of violent pro-ISIS militants. The trick and the trap and the horror is not faith, Scott. I don't think the trap and the horror is fanaticism.
Someone once said that the joy is not in writing but in having written.
I can't say I find that to be true, though I understand the sentiment.
I don't think there's any question journalists have become targets, but then I think that - that anyone who tries to practice liberty becomes a target of fanatics.
There are two kinds of travelers. There is the kind who goes to see what there is to see, and the kind who has an image in his head and goes out to accomplish it. The first visitor has an easier time, but I think the second visitor sees more.
The special virtue of freedom is not that it makes you richer and more powerful but that it gives you more time to understand what it means to be alive.
You can't have a decent food culture without a decent coffee culture: the two things grow up together.
New York has always been a place where it is possible to have memories without the experience that conventionally precede them.
Big writers become a kind of shared climate.
Protein was the most valued ingredient 250 years ago: It was the rarest thing.
Now the rarest thing we have is time: time to cook and time to eat.
Writing is the process of finding something to distract you from writing, and of all the helpful distractions - adultery, alcohol and acedia, all of which aided our writing fathers - none can equal the Internet.
In the New Yorker library, I have long been shelved between Nadine Gordimer and Brendan Gill; an eerie little space nestled between high seriousness of purpose and legendary lightness of touch.
A good analogy [Charlie Hebdo] in lots of ways is "South Park" - the hugely popular American cartoon show - and the things that the "South Park" creators have created, like "The Book Of Mormon," the Broadway musical. If I were a devout Mormon, I would be offended by a lot of things that go on in "The Book Of Mormon," right? It mocks mercilessly the pretensions to truth of Mormonism and the pretensions to virtue of Mormon missionaries.
Writing well isn't just a question of winsome expression, but of having found something big and true to say and having found the right words to say it in, of having seen something large and having found the right words to say it small, small enough to enter an individual mind so that the strong ideas of what the words are saying sound like sweet reason.
American long for a closed society in which everything can be bought, where laborers are either hidden away or dressed up as nonhumans, so as not to be disconcerting. This place is called Disney World
In bookstores, my stuff is usually filed in the out-of-the-way, additional interest sections.
Paris, on the other hand, looked exactly as it was supposed to look.
It wore its heart on its sleeve, and the strange thing was that the heart it wore so openly was in other ways so closed-mysterious, uninviting.
Of all the unexpected things in contemporary literature, this is among the oddest: that kids have an inordinate appetite for very long, very tricky, very strange books about places that don't exist...
All tastes have the quality of being in some way artificial and invented.
The secret of life is to have enough detachment from your tastes and your values to see that they are a little bit absurd.
The sin of capitalism, perhaps, is to make wants feel like needs, to give to simple silly stuff the urgency of near-physical necessity: I must have it. The grace of capitalism is to make wants feel like hopes, so that material objects and stuff can feel like the possibility of something heroic and civic.
The past is so often unknowable not because it is befogged now but because it was befogged then, too, back when it was still the present. If we had been there listening, we still might not have been able to determine exactly what Stanton said. All we know for sure is that everyone was weeping, and the room was full.
Art without accomplishment becomes a form of faith, sustained more by the intensity of its common practice than by the pleasure it gives to its adherents in private.