I gave this book to a New York native who was absolutely enthralled with it. She could hardly keep her hands off it during the party. Photos are wonderful. Only con is that it is so large that one can't carry it around. It almost has to be a coffee table book.
A big, satisfying brick of a book in a sturdy slipcase. Gifty.
Quite a monster: 975 pp, just under 5 pounds almost entirely color photographs, on heavy paper.
A truly comprehensive look at the city of New York in the 2000's. High-brow, low-brow, and no-brow.
Principal photographers Ishii, Mason have a particular affinity for street culture. Sure, there's a lot of architecture here, but most of the images are human-scale, human-sized, carefully composed. Stuff you could see every day if you took the time to really look.
The book is studded with quotes from notables like Auster, de Kooning, Irving Berlin.
I was initially a little disappointed when I received this, thinking it was much larger than it is (as far as W x H is concerned; has a smaller 'footprint' than expected). Admittedly I didn't pay attention to the dimensions listed in the details, so that's totally my fault. It IS a very THICK book!
I got over that very quickly, though! The photos are GREAT. I have MANY books on my favorite place in the world, and this is a nice break from the perfectly framed, "visitors bureau" type photos in most books of this nature. At just shy of a THOUSAND pages, there are endless shots of random street scenes. Shots of the EVERYDAY things you see when in the city...graffiti, the endless "stand pipes," people on their way to wherever minding their own business, mom-and-pop bodegas, and so on.
There are photos from every decade included, which is nice. You'll see simple b&w pics from the early 1900's to those of people in all their 1970's grooviness in Washington Square Park to those of affluent Upper East Side ladies with their tiny dogs out shopping.
The book's only negative in my opinion is that the text isn't very "fluid." I have several books published by Assouline and this isn't quite up to their usual standard. It appears that the editors either were in a rush to get the book on shelves and/or only junior editors with little experience were in charge of this one. Oh well - I bought it for the photos anyway, so that's ok.
It's important to note two things: 1) that this is a PHOTO BOOK, not a travel/info/guide book, just in case you were looking for that kind of info. 2) the cover is NOT the pink/purple shown. It's the one shown in the "user pics" and the dust jacket & slipcase have the same pattern.
This is now one of my favorite books on my second home & really "takes" me there when I need an injection of the city!
The perfect companion for any New York lover. The pictures are amazing and cover different spectrums of the city including its villages, neighborhoods and seasons. Anytime I'm away from the city, I turn to the pages of this book and feel at home.