An essay reflecting on the work of painter Edward Hopper:

Hopper moved to New York City to study art in 1899 and died there in 1967. He and his wife lived in the same Washington Square apartment for nearly fifty years. He fought to save historic buildings in his neighborhood and nondescript ones, too, provided they weren’t tall. His paintings are unmatched in their evocation of urban alienation, but it never occurred to him to trade urban life for something else (judging from his paintings of New England and California, he didn’t like the rest of America any better). He was a ride-or-die New Yorker, the kind who never stops kvetching about his city but never seriously considers leaving, because he probably couldn’t function anywhere else. The New Yorkers in his paintings are in a similar bind: they’re so alienated they cling to the very places that prolong their alienation, which may also be what’s keeping them alive.