Find Your Beach


Here’s English author Zadie Smith in The New York Review of Books with an essay titled Find Your Beach:

[…] Now the ad says: Find your beach. The bottle of beer—it’s an ad for beer—is very yellow and the background luxury-holiday-blue. It seems to me uniquely well placed, like a piece of commissioned public art in perfect sympathy with its urban site. The tone is pure Manhattan. Echoes can be found in the personal growth section of the bookstore (“Find your happy”), and in exercise classes (“Find your soul”), and in the therapist’s office (“Find your self”). I find it significant that there exists a more expansive, national version of this ad that runs in magazines, and on television.

This woman is genius and can write.  Don’t miss her full essay here: Find Your Beach

Notes: Find her award winning book on Amazon here: White TeethPortrait of Zadie Smith: Bio at Wiki here: Zadie Smith 


  1. ..and that it’s for beer…and there’s the disconnect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes.

      “Finally the greatest thing about Manhattan is the worst thing about Manhattan: self-actualization. Here you will be free to stretch yourself to your limit, to find the beach that is yours alone. But sooner or later you will be sitting on that beach wondering what comes next. I can see my own beach ahead now, as the children grow, as the practical limits fade; I see afresh the huge privilege of my position; it reclarifies itself. Under the protection of a university I live on one of the most privileged strips of built-up beach in the world, among people who believe they have no limits and who push me, by their very proximity, into the same useful delusion, now and then.”

      ~ Zadie Smith, Find Your Beach

      Liked by 1 person

  2. this is stunning. and perfectly written. my brother, who lives in manhattan, and considers himself a new yorker, no longer a midwesterner, said he lives there because it challenges him and he likes to feel like he is always in a competition. it pushes him harder. i understand that, and it is a good match for his personality. but for me, i can only take a long weekend there, and then i long to be back to my slower, simple, peaceful pace and place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All I can think is Amen, sister. And I believe she is correct about brooklyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Expansive. Depth. And everything that lies between those two extremes; what compelling writing. This line: “…which makes you happy in the special way of all intoxicants, by reshaping reality around a sensation you alone are having.” I just had to re-read over and over. I was drawn in by her astute observations and reflections of normal, every day life and how it all fit so seamlessly into the much larger and even more astute observations she is making. This is the kind of writing that gets under my skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Her writing is very clever a little high brow for me – a little over analysing – I have found my beach and when I sit down on it I don’t wonder what’s next – I absorb the view feel the breeze on my face listen to the waves rolling and breaking and sense the inner calm.

    I believe your beach is your space and finding it in a city could take rather a long time (lived in London for 10 years and Edinburgh for 4 both wonderful places) but never in a month of Sunday’s was I going to find my space or contentment – so it’s not about a beach either – ha ha not bad for geographer/photographer

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with everything you have shared Scott (with exception of over analyzing as I can relate) I love this part of your comment:

      “I absorb the view feel the breeze on my face listen to the waves rolling and breaking and sense the inner calm.”

      I can feel this…

      thanks for sharing.


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