For the past few weeks we've been locked in the basement at Yankee Stadium, subsisting on nothing but Bergen Bagels, listening to the best songs about New York City through headphones endorsed by Lou Reed. Our mission: to come up with a list of the 60 best songs ever written about our city, songs that best capture what it's like to live, love, struggle, and exist in the sprawling, unforgiving, culturally dense metropolis we pay too much to call home. We started by agreeing on the songs we shouldn't include -- naked and clunky stabs at new New York anthems that fall flat and ring inauthentic, like Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," U2's "New York," and Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York." Instead, we focus on tracks that are so New York, and so good, they can't be denied. Here they are. Listen to our Spotify playlist, which has most of the songs you'll read about below.
Contributors: Steve Almond, R.C. Baker, Heather Baysa, Jack Buehrer, Jesus Diaz, Tom Finkel, Chaz Kangas, Mike Laws, Linda Leseman, Brian McManus, Albert Samaha, Alan Scherstuhl, Mike Seely, Brittany Spanos, Katherine Turman
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