Adam Gopnik Quotes

Adam Gopnik (born August 24, 1956) is an American writer and essayist. He is best known as a staff writer for The New Yorker—to which he has contributed non-fiction, fiction, memoir and criticism since 1986—and as the author of the essay collection Paris to the Moon, an account of five years that Gopnik, his wife Martha, and son Luke spent in the French capital

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Adam Gopnik


Going to a restaurant is one of my keenest pleasures. Meeting someplace with old and new friends, ordering wine, eating food, surrounded by strangers, I think is the core of what it means to live a civilised life.

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The World Series is played in my doubtless too-nostalgic imagination in some kind of autumn afternoon light, and seeing it exclusively in the bitter chill of midnight breaks the spell of even the best of games.

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In the New Yorker library, I have long been shelved between Nadine Gordimer and Brendan Gill; an eerie little space nestled between high seriousness of purpose and legendary lightness of touch.

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I still think the best classic meal in New York is a coffee-shop breakfast - you sort of can't skip it.

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All tastes have the quality of being in some way artificial and invented. The secret of life is to have enough detachment from your tastes and your values to see that they are a little bit absurd.

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Of all the alchemies of human connection-sex and childbirth and marriage and friendship-the strangest is this: You can stand up and tell a story that is made entirely, embarrassingly, of "I's," and a listening audience somehow turns each "I" into a "me." This alchemy, of self-absorption into shared experience, is the alchemy of all literature.

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Leafing through Forbes or Fortune [magazine]s is like reading the operating manual of a strangely sanctimonious pirate ship

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Protein was the most valued ingredient 250 years ago: It was the rarest thing. Now the rarest thing we have is time: time to cook and time to eat.

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The coffee shop is a great New York institution, but it has terrible coffee. And the more traditional coffee shops are trying to catch up with more sophisticated coffee drinkers.

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Cooking is the showy side of domesticity.

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I rush to add that I find the Web infinitely useful for rustling up information, settling arguments or locating the legends of rock stars.

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You can't have a decent food culture without a decent coffee culture: the two things grow up together.

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The French believe that all errors are distant, someone else's fault. Americans believe that there is no distance, no difference, and therefore that there are no errors, that any troubles are simple misunderstandings, consequent on your not yet having spoken English loudly enough.

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There are as many attitudes to cooking as there are people cooking, of course, but I do think that cooking guys tend - I am a guilty party here - to take, or get, undue credit for domestic virtue, when in truth cooking is the most painless and, in its ways, ostentatious of the domestic chores.

Adam Gopnik


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I think the worst thing we can do is to concede to fanaticism its devotion, say. Well, you have to understand, these people are really fanatics, so we should back down from them. I think if journalists start doing that then they won't be practicing journalism. If satirists start doing that then they won't be practicing satire.

Adam Gopnik


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