The Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library, one of the locations on the library’s map of romantic literary spots.
Photo: Pablo Pola Damonte/Flickr

The New York Public Library Created a Map of Literary Love Stories

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the library mapped the locations of beloved tales of romance in New York City

There’s no shortage of love stories set against the bustling backdrop of New York City. Now, in honor of Valentine’s Day, the New York Public Library has created a map pinpointing places mentioned in famous literary romances.

Spread across the five boroughs and even stretching into Long Island, the map lets fiction fans explore the city in a fascinating, romantic way. The map features some famed New York landmarks, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Union Square, but it also includes places that might not make it onto many people’s list of amorous locales, like Gray’s Papaya and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The NYPL’s map of literary romances spans the five boroughs and even reaches into Long Island. Photo: The New York Public Library

Recommended: 14 Inspired Art and Design Gifts for Valentine’s Day

The NYPL surveyed its staff, asking them to submit their favorite love stories set in and around New York City. The results represent an array of both time periods and cultures and include a range of titles, from well-known, beloved novels like The Great Gatsby and The Age of Innocence to lesser-known works like When Tito Loved Clara and Annie on My Mind.  For each location mapped, there is a description from one of the library’s experts explaining the scene that takes place there.

For Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the NYPL recommends visiting the Rose Main Reading Room at its landmark Fifth Avenue location. Photo: The New York Public Library

“In Truman Capote’s offbeat New York romance Breakfast at Tiffany’s, one scene is set in the main reading room of the New York Public Library,” explains Kathie Coblentz, of the NYPL’s Special Collections, about her pick. “The nameless narrator, unseen, observes Holly Golightly in an unlikely environment as she ‘sped from one book to the next,’ researching her hoped-for future life in Brazil. In the film version with Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, two scenes, more romantically charged, were actually filmed in the library.

A detailed look at the map and the books the library staff recommend can be found on the library’s website.


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