Ernest Hemingway, his wife Mary Welsh, Leland Hayward's wife Nancy Hawks, Spencer Tracy, George Jessel, and Leland Hayward at New York's New Yorkiest joint: the Stork Club. 1950. (Getty)

In a letter to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, dated October 11th, 1923 (and reprinted in The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 2, 1923-1925), Ernest Hemingway expressed dislike of New York City, where he was with Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. It seems the only adequate thing the city had to offer him was the food (and check out that smile on him in The Stork Club)—he wrote, "Contrary to my remembrance the cuisine here is good. I have also found some good Chinese places." But it was all downhill from there:

"We have both been very homesick for Paris. I have understood for the first time how men can commit suicide simply because of too many things in business piling up ahead of them that they can’t get through. It is of only doubtful value to have discovered. In New York four days I could not locate Sherwood [Anderson] or anybody I wanted to see because of being too busy. Tried telephoning etc.

New York looked very beautiful on the lower part around Broad and Wall streets where there is never any light gets down except streaks and the damnedest looking people. All the time I was there I never saw anybody even grin.

There are really some fine buildings. New ones. Not any with names that we’ve ever heard of. Funny shapes. Three hundred years from now people will come over from Europe and tour it in rubber neck wagons. Dead and deserted like Egypt. It’ll be Cooks most popular tour.

Wouldn’t live in it for anything."

In the fall of 1959, Hemingway returned to the city once again, and rented a one-bedroom at 1 East 62nd Street, though "by this time in his life, he was already in poor physical and mental health, and he was unable to complete many of his pieces." He left New York soon after, and committed suicide in Idaho in July of 1961. [via Brain Pickings]