37 New York Subject

Of course, Hopper's hometown of New York City provided many subjects, too.

Nighthawks was suggested by a local restaurant on Greenwich where two streets meet (by some accounts a coffee shop called the Dixie Kitchen). Similarly, Automat was inspired by a place on Broadway near Washington Square, and the famous storefronts in Early Sunday Morning were nearby Seventh Avenue shops (a title Hopper considered using).

Chop Suey was based on a second-floor Chinese restaurant on Columbus Circle where he and Jo used to eat before attending theater shows. Walks along Riverside Drive inspired his paintings House at Dusk and August in the City (I saw the most likely candidate for the house in that painting at Seventy-seventh and Riverside), while Sunlight on Brownstones was taken from near there in the lower West Eighties. The titles of other paintings of his give away their New York subjects: New York Office, The Circle Theater; Sheridan Theater; Room in Brooklyn; From Williamsburg Bridge; Blackwell's Island (now Roosevelt's Island); and Macomb's Dam Bridge (now the 155th St. Bridge in Harlem).

Like New England's conservatism, New York's massive impersonality and anonymity may have filtered through to his paintings. One critic noted that New York City has "often served as a symbol of the nation as a whole."

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