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“He watched the parade come in and out of his courtroom, whichever Part he was in that day, and he wondered how the city had become such a disgusting thing on his watch. How it lifted babies by the hair, and how it raped seventy-year-old women, and how it set fires to couches where lovers slept, and how it pocketed candy bars, and how it shattered ribcages, and how it allowed its war protesters to spit in the face of cops, and how the union men ran roughshod over their bosses, and how the Mafia took a hold of the boardwalks, and how fathers used daughters as ashtrays, and how bar fights pun out of control, and how perfectly good businessmen ended up urinating in front of the Woolworth Building, and how guns were drawn in the pizza joints, and how whole families got blown away, and how paramedics ended up with crushed skulls, and how addicts shot heroin into their tongues, and how shysters ran scams and old ladies lost their savings, and how shopkeepers gave back the wrong change, and how the mayor wheezed and wheedled and lied while the city burned down to the ground, got itself ready for its own little funeral of ashes, crime, crime, crime.”

– Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin


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