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Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis Paperback


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Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis + Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City + The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of 400 Years of New York City's History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Reference (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060754001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060754006
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a wonderful guide to Gotham old and new by someone who really knows his stuff. Invaluable!” (Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row)

“Instantly my favorite guide to the city. Walsh has a phenomenal eye and an almost fanatical attention to detail.” (Luc Sante, author of Low Life)

There are no more nooks nor crannies in NYC left to find hidden gems. Kevin Walsh has found them all. (Stan Fischler, author of The Subway and The City)

About the Author

Kevin Walsh, an urban explorer extraordinaire and creator of www.forgotten-ny.com, provides a window into a world that few even know exists. He hosts sold out Forgotten-NY Tours throughout the boroughs and is a much sought-after expert on little-known facts about New York City. He grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, watching the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge being built and presently lives in Flushing, Queens.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Having grown up in NYC I enjoy reading books about its history.
PatF
Since she started rehersals while I was visiting, I took the book and did a great deal of walking around the city.
John Matlock
This more than a coffee table book, it is a historical triumph!
Joseph A. Delbroccolo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Shemogue on February 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Every large city has its famous landmarks & signature structures which define it in the eyes of the world. For New York, the statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, Times Square and, after 9/11, the absence of the World Trade Towers. These are the sights that travellers and tourists want to see, and having seen them, think that they have "done" New York.
But they have surely missed the best part.

The real New York, the soul and spirit and humanity of old New York is not so obvious, although it is everywhere around. It is found in its quiet corners and intimate spaces, on its avenues and in its old neighbourhoods with names like Flatbush, Canarsie, Vinegar Hill, Spuyten Duyvil, Flushing, Astoria or Greenwich Village. It is found in the vestiges and the relics of New York's disappearing past.

"Forgotten New York" is a wonderful guidebook to 300 years of colourful personages, events and architecture found throughout all five of the City's boroughs, a guide to memories hidden in plain sight. These include many parks, alleys, doorways, gates, theatres, statues, fountains, clocks, lampposts, views, bridges, a lighthouse, signs, plaques, museums, homesteads, facades, monuments and even some ornate iron ventilation shafts.

It is profusely illustrated with photos and numerically keyed maps which make it easy to discover dozens of little gems of history right around the corner from where you live (you Lucky New Yorkers!) or not-so far from those cousins in Queens or old friends in Brooklyn you always meant to visit.
Even for a retired armchair traveller like myself, this book is a passport to rich and vibrant world far removed from the stereotyped New York we thought we knew.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By LI Techie on October 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had gotten the impression from a few of the earlier reviewers that this book was going to be disappointing; a pale shadow of the extensive website that Mr. Walsh has maintained for some years. But when I received my copy I got a pleasant surprise: "Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis" is not a coffee-table version of the website (at which I am a sometime and appreciative visitor); rather it is a way to get up from your coffee table, get out the door and actually SEE the wonders that Kevin has found for us.

I would compare and contrast this book with another invaluable work, White & Willensky's AIA (American Institute of Architects) Guide to New York City, which revolutionized the appreciation of New York structures (and boosted historic preservation at the same time). The AIA guide shows us buildings of architectural significance, briefly details their history and tells us how to get to them to see for ourselves. By contrast, Forgotten New York tells us how to find all the OTHER interesting little details of New York City's past that are right under our noses.

I sympathize with those who wish this book went into more depth in its individual subjects; I hope that books to come may detail this or that neighborhood or topic, but the logic of this guidebook (for that's what it is) is compelling: if I want to find out what Brooklyn, say, was like in the 1930s, I can curl up with a book and read the text and enjoy the pictures, for I have no other choice except for a Time Machine BUT if I want to SEE (and touch, and photograph) survivals of Brooklyn FROM the 1930s, this book "takes me by the hand" and leads me to go and see them for myself.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Nigey Lennon on October 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
There have been numerous books published which present exhaustive overviews of New York City and environs, but "Forgotten New York" is the first to focus exclusively on the vanishing details which once defined the metropolitan area. So much of the larger urban picture is made up of small but significant specifics -- street furniture, architectural subtleties, physical or geographical characteristics of particular neighborhoods -- that when they begin to disappear, the entire fabric of the neighborhood, and the larger urban area, are affected. Kevin Walsh has spent a lifetime defining, finding, and chronicling these elements, and "Forgotten New York" is devoted to remembering them, in the interest of understanding the continuum of the larger picture via its changing landscape.

Far from sketchy or superficial, "Forgotten New York" is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the rapidly changing NYC area over time. The book is meant to be used in the field, and it is organized with that in mind. The New York guidebook field may be a crowded one, but "Forgotten New York" is a unique and much needed addition to the canon. The philosophy of historic preservation is grounded in the understanding of the quality of life imparted by seemingly insignificant details; "Forgotten New York" is a real step forward in defining those details, and an eloquent plea for their preservation.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on February 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Although I live in a small town in Nevada, my daughterlives in New York City. She's an actress, and if you want to act on stage you almost have to live in New York.

We were in a book store and found this book. In flipping it over I found a really neat looking German style beet garden. I asked her where it was, and it was just around the corner, down a few blocks from her apartment. In looking at the book we found all kinds of neat places to go visit, far more than the conventional guide books.

Since she started rehersals while I was visiting, I took the book and did a great deal of walking around the city. One thing I found was an amazing amount of wreckage that you wonder why someone hasn't taken over, built something that uses the wreckage as art and developed into very expensive housing.

Basically this book is a collection of literally hundreds of interesting little tidbits from the past. They are broken down into five general categories:

Quiet Places

Truly Forgotten

History Happened Here

What is this Thing

Forgotten People.

As the author says, all you need is a metro-Card and a good pair of walking shoes.
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