E. B. White: “No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky”

From The Writer’s Almanac:

Today is the birthday of E. B. White, born in 1899 in Mount Vernon, New York. He started publishing essays when he was in his mid-20s. Eventually, the New Yorker decided to hire White as a staff writer and he wrote for the magazine for nearly 60 years. In 1938 he and his wife — the New Yorker’s fiction editor, Katharine Angell — left New York City and moved to a farm on the coast of Maine. There he continued to write essays and his reflections on farming for Harper’s were collected in the book One Man’s Meat.

For a 1948 issue of Atlantic Monthly, he contributed an essay called “Death of a Pig.”…And though he often said there was no connection, his second children’s book — Charlotte’s Web — is also a story about a pig. But this time the pig is saved from the slaughter through the efforts of a little girl and a clever spider.

In the summer of 1948 White found himself back in New York City in the middle of a heatwave. So over a couple of sweltering days in a room at the Algonquin Hotel, he wrote Here is New York, a love letter to the city that was once his home. He said, “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy….No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.”

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