Can’t wait to get to NYC? Try the next best things– stories set in New York. NYC is home to some great characters, whether they be from literature, film, or TV. Get to know these characters (and in turn, New York) by checking out our recommendations below.

New York Inspired Literature
Some of the most famous stories take place in New York City– fiction and nonfiction alike. Curl up with a classic or challenge yourself with a new favorite from the list below:

Historical New York Novels:

  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  • The Alientist by Caleb Carr
  • Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • Washington Square by Henry James
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Modern New York Novels:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.I. Konigsburg
  • Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

Present-Day New York Novels:

  • The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Never Can Say Goodbye edited by Sara Botti
  • Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Nonfiction New York:

  • Here is New York by E.B. White
  • The Encyclopedia of New York City by Kenneth Jackson
  • Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows

Love a good book? Once you arrive, don’t forget to check of the Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the New York Public Library. 

NYC Films
Of course, in addition to great books, New York City is the backdrop for countless films; once you’ve lived here, you’ll soon to be able to identify neighborhoods, restaurants, and other settings when you watch movies set in the Big Apple. You won’t help but blurt out “I know where that is!” or “I’ve been there before!”

  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • Black Swan
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  • The Amazing Spiderman
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Now You See Me
  • Rent
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • West Side Story
  • Annie Hall and Manhattan
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Men in Black
  • I am Legend
  • Hitch
  • Ghostbusters

New York City Based TV Shows
Finally, if you’re looking to binge-watch some great NYC shows on Netflix, you can’t go wrong with these classics:

  • Seinfeld
  • 30 Rock
  • Friends
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Gossip Girl
  • Law & Order
  • Castle

We hope this will be a fun, informal crash-course for your knowledge of NYC pop culture!