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Download Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York, by Ariel Sabar Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (184 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ariel Sabar Narrator: Neil Sha Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The handsome Texas sailor who offers dinner to a runaway in Central Park. The Midwestern college girl who stops a cop in Times Square for restaurant advice. The Brooklyn man on a midnight subway who helps a weary tourist find her way to Chinatown. The Columbia University graduate student who encounters an unexpected object of beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A public place in the world’s greatest city. A chance meeting of strangers. A marriage. Heart of the City tells the remarkable true stories of nine ordinary couples—from the 1940s to the present—whose matchmaker was the city of New York.

Intrigued by the romance of his own parents, who met in Washington Square Park, award-winning author Ariel Sabar set off on a far-ranging search for other couples who married after first meeting in one of New York City’s iconic public spaces. Sabar conjures their big-city love stories in novel-like detail, drawing us into the hearts of strangers just as their lives are about to change forever. 

In setting the stage for these surprising, funny, and moving tales, Sabar, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, offers a fascinating look at the role of place in how—and whether—people meet and fall in love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Sabar] not only reports on the science of attraction in man-made environments…but also, more compellingly, offers true stories as evidence.”


  • “An engaging, moving and lively read…Written in novelistic style…each of these nine stories define serendipity and provoke wonder.”

    Toronto Star

  • “Inspired by his parents’ story of meeting in Washington Square Park, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Sabar looks at the ‘environmental psychology’ of New York City’s iconic public spaces…the strength of this effort lies in its sweetness.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The stories touch the heart. They are poignant, compelling, absorbing, romantic, and just flat-out sweet. Reading them, even hardened cynics will feel the urge to hug someone."

    Providence Journal

  • “Sabar’s thoroughly engaging Heart of the City profiles nine couples who met at famous New York City public spaces…Sabar has teased out each of these couples’ magnificent, ordinary stories and compiled them into a sparkling love letter to the city.”


  • “Ask anyone from Woody Allen to Carrie Bradshaw: there’s no love story quite like a New York love story.  In Heart of the City Ariel Sabar tells nine true—and very moving—stories of people who met in the Big Apple.”

    Town and Country

  • “With each story I felt like I was watching a mini movie. I couldn’t put the book down, which led to many late nights…This collection affirmed my belief that people can find true love in life if they keep their eyes open.”

    Lisa Loeb, singer / songwriter

  • People Magazine’s “Great Reads”
  • New York Post’s “Required Reading” List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Diana | 2/7/2014

    " I think I liked the introduction the best. (Seriously it was an interesting one! Makes me want to read about the design of public spaces.) Cute stories, but I suppose short love stories in rapid succession are not my thing. It happens enough in real life! I'm bumping it up to 3 stars instead of 2 because it is always nice to be reminded of home. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lauren | 2/4/2014

    " Started listening to this one today June 30 on my way home from Booth Bay Harbor "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Danell | 2/1/2014

    " I've never been to New York, but it's a place I've fanticized about and has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I loved the concept of this book - how the city is a character and a factor in these real people's love stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jan | 1/18/2014

    " A book of 9 true tales of people who met and fell in love in NYC. Mostly, it's a fun and pleasant read. Some of the relationships seemed a little weird to me - not my cup of tea, I guess. I had to wonder if they actually had staying power. But maybe that's just me. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book a lot. Except I wish it had pictures of the couples. What was up with that? "

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About the Author
Author Ariel Sabar

Ariel Sabar is an award-winning former staff writer for the Baltimore Sun and the Rhode Island Providence Journal. His work has also appeared in the New York Times and other major publications. He is the author of My Father’s Paradise, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.