These introductory sentences of Jay McInerney’s Bright, Precious Days stand alone.
Been there, done that.
“Once, not so very long ago, young men and women had come to the city because they loved books, because they wanted to write novels or short stories or even poems, or because they wanted to be associated with the production and distribution of those artefacts and with the people who created them. For those who haunted suburban libraries and provincial bookstores, Manhattan was the shining island of letters.”
Jay McInerney, Bright Precious Days, 2016