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City Lights: Stories About New York Paperback – Bargain Price, March 31, 2009

ISBN-10: 031253891X Edition: First Edition

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Paperback, Bargain Price, March 31, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A perpetual tourist in his New York City hometown, Barry wrote a weekly New York Times column from 2003 to 2006 humanizing the faceless hordes of a bustling metropolis. He gives a voice here to umbrella peddlers grumbling about bad business in a downpour, a Buddhist monk robbed of his bag of humble possessions at Trump Tower and a Bronx poker champ whose winnings bought 10 heart surgeries in his native Guyana. In a city of transition, Fulton Fish Market hawkers bid adieu to their old stinky open-air digs; Plaza Hotel doormen lament the famed hotel's conversion into luxury condos and the probable loss of their jobs. Remarkable yet ordinary New Yorkers include a Methodist office worker who donated a kidney to a Muslim woman, a Harlem window washer who plummeted to his death in a Silk Stocking neighborhood and a potato chip salesman who was unmasked as a brutal Nazi. September 11 casts a long shadow as a Staten Island retired firefighter learns for the fifth time in two years that parts of his son, a commodities trader, have been recovered at ground zero. Pulitzer Prize–winner Barry delivers highly evocative pieces, but they'll be yesterday's news to Times readers. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Barry wrote a weekly column for the New York Times called "About New York," in which he covered in depth the people behind the news stories and in turn the stories behind the people. The short pieces, none more than a few pages, are collected here and organized not in chronological order but rather by such themes as "Vanishing New York" and "Seizing the New York Day." The result is a glowing collection of essays that sparkles and illuminates as much as the city it endeavors to capture. Barry writes sparingly about sentimental subjects: the loss of old New York businesses and the ensuing dent to the city's character; two former stars of a bygone era who meet twice a week to dance forgotten steps, or the Gatsbyesque character who posed as a member of the upper crust but was no such thing. Barry's subjects are mostly local heroes, residents of his great city just going about their business and occasionally doing something that makes them worthy of our contemplation. Readers will thank Barry for bringing these stories to their attention. Eberle, Jerry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031253891X
  • ASIN: B0048BPFW0
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,583,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Barry writes the ``This Land'' column for The New York Times, a feature that he inaugurated in January of 2007. In traveling to all 50 states, he has, among other experiences, witnessed an execution in Tennessee, visited a Yup'ik village in western Alaska, and interviewed Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in ``The Wizard of Oz,'' in Jacksonville, Fl. Once, while on a boat to report about the Asian carp that leap by the thousands from the Illinois River, he was struck by one of the fishy projectiles; he has since recovered, though flashbacks remain a problem.
Barry joined the Times in September 1995. Since then he has held several positions at the Times, including Long Island bureau chief (where he oversaw a staff of two, including himself), City Hall bureau chief, and, from June 2003 until November 2006, the ``About New York'' columnist. He was a major contributor to the newspaper's coverage of the Sept. 11 catastrophe and its aftermath, as well as its coverage of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Born in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1958, he grew up in Deer Park - Exit 51 on the Long Island Expressway. His mother, Noreen, was from County Galway, Ireland; she could spin a tragicomic tale of Homeric proportion out of a trip to ShopRite for a quart of milk. His father, Gene, was from Depression-era New York City; he could find evidence of a conspiracy against working people out of a trip to ShopRite for a quart of milk.
Barry graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor's degree in journalism, then dug ditches and worked in Long Island delicatessens before earning a master's degree in journalism from New York University -- after which he dug some more ditches. He went on to work at the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn., where he covered one too many zoning board meetings, and the Providence Journal, in Rhode Island, where protesters once burned copies of one of his stories outside the newspaper's building.
Barry has won several journalism honors. In 1992, he and two other Providence Journal reporters won a George Polk Award for an investigation into the causes of a state banking crisis. In 1994, he and the other members of the Journal's investigative team won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles about Rhode Island's court system. His other honors include the 2003 American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for deadline reporting, for his coverage of the first anniversary of Sept. 11, and the 2005 Mike Berger Award, from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which honors in-depth human interest reporting. He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2006, for his slice-of-life reports from hurricane-battered New Orleans and from New York, and in 2010, for his "This Land" articles.
In addition, in 2001 he received a fifth-place award for feature writing from a national bowling organization; the certificate misspelled his name.
Barry has written three books: ``Pull Me Up: A Memoir,'' published in May 2004; ``City Lights: Stories About New York,'' a collection of his ``About New York'' columns, published in November 2007; and "Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game," published in April 2011.
He lives in Maplewood, N.J., with his wife, Mary Trinity, and their two daughters, Nora and Grace.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel P. Cassidy on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Whenever I read the NY Times over the past few years and became despairing of the state of the world and humanity, I always knew I could turn to Dan Barry to "pull me up." Barry's collection of columns are really prose poems, filled with soul and spirit of the Hidden New York City: cello playing bus drivers, workin' stiffs, everyday Janes and Joes, whose lives Barry illuminates with a style that is a pleasure to read again and again. These columns were my daily vitamins. Rereading them in this collection is truly a revelation that the spirit of the common people is what gives NY and America its uncommon soul. Buy this book. Then buy another and give it to a friend. Read it and feel renewed. It will "pull you up" too.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By paquinn47 on December 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's the Sunday before Christmas. First thing this morning, pre-coffee, pre-bowel movement/ablutions, pre-church, I went into the front yard to retrieve my copy of the New York Times. I knew the pages would be filled with column after column of depressing dispatches from Darfur, Wichita, Whereveristan, mass homicide, sub-prime scandal, suicide bombing, official doublespeak about why torture is a crime except when practiced by CIA/Blackwater, the inexhaustible ineptitude/fathomless arrogance of the Bush administration, and opposing platitudes/feckless fulminations by Frank Rich.
God's mercy on us all.
I didn't rescue the Times from pelting rain and soot-ridden snow, however, in order to batter my wounded/aged soul with the alarming/ deteriorating condition/direction of our country/world. My intent was to turn immediately to Dan Barry's latest report from the homeland/ hinterland and to see what redeeming/enlightening observations had come from the pen/laptop/PC of the single-most powerful, poetic, sublime columnist at work at this moment in these Disunited/Dispirited States. (And, caveat lector, Dan Barry is not to be confused with satirist Dave Barry.)
I wasn't disappointed by what I read. One again, I was amazed. (I almost wrote "astounded," except that the end piece in the NYT Book Review of several months ago by Joe Quinlan--a satirist every bit as good as Dave Barry and a lot more savage--has rendered that word verboten by anyone attempting a review.) Here in the face of yet another merciless deadline, Dan Barry had managed to pinpoint a revealing angle on a familiar story (check it out for yourself, "A Place Just like Every Other Place.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Big D VINE VOICE on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dan Barry writes about New York as if it was a village. Its size is not as important as the individuals who live there, the people who inhabit it, make it the alive, vibrant and wonderfully alluring city it is.

This is not about New York, the city. It is about the flesh and blood of the city, about the people and characters of the city, and it's hard to imagine a city anywhere that has more characters and color to write about than New York City. Dan Barry does a good job of capturing their individuality, their uniquenss and their inevitable ties and bonds to the city.

Obviously, this review is written by an unabashed lover of NYC...and from Alabama, too.
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By skysthelimit on November 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could not put down this book. Dan Barry writes with such clarity that one thinks he is actually part of the story. I love anything related to New York City, and this book is very highly recommended!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ojoette on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a native of NJ/NY I found this book boring and depressing. It's a very poor compilation of stories about NYC, not well written and with no redeeming features
By mistake I unfortunately ordered two of them and can't think of a single person I can give the second one to as a gift. The only thing I can say for it is
that it didn't cost very much and the cover is attractive.
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