In my time, I have known quite a few of the worlds and the worlds within worlds of which New York City is made up, such as the world of the newspapers, the world of the criminal courts, the world of the museums, the world of the racetracks, the world of the tugboat fleets, the world of the old bookstores, the world of the old left-behind churches down in the financial district, the world of the old Irish saloons, the world of the old Staten Island oyster ports, the world of the party-boat piers at Sheepshead Bay, and the worlds of the city’s two great botanical gardens, the Botanical one in the Bronx and the Botanic one in Brooklyn. As a reporter and as a curiosity seeker and as an architecture buff and as a Sunday walker and later on as a member of committees in a variety of Save-this and Save-that and Friends-of-this and Friends-of-that organizations and eventually as one of the commissioners on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, I have known some of these worlds from the inside. Even so, I have never really felt altogether at home in any of them. And I have always felt at home in the Fulton Fish Market.

An excerpt from the third chapter of an unfinished memoir by Joseph Mitchell.
(via newyorker)