Aciman – on Mainhattan and Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson

… They made me think of 1950s pictures of New York, where it seems to grow darker much sooner in the evening than it does nowadays, where everyone wears long gray overcoats because winters were much colder then, and when the Upper West Side teemed with people who had come from Europe before the war and then stayed on, building small, cluttered lives, turning this neighborhood into a reliquary of Frankfurt-am-Main —- their Frankfurt-away-from-home, Frankurt-on-the-Hudson, as the old joke goes, but not an inappropriate name for a city which, in Germany today, dubs itself Mainhattan, and which is, ironically enough, a far stranger city to them, now that it imitates Manhattan, than their adopted Manhattan imitating old Frankfurt. …

André Aciman – Shadow Cities – False papers

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