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Only in New York: An Exploration of the World's Most Fascinating, Frustrating and Irrepressible City 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312387778
ISBN-10: 0312387776
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A staple among readers of the New York Times, urban affairs correspondent Roberts collects 40 of his podcasts for the Times Web site—savvy snapshots of the city that prides itself on its restless energy. Roberts (Who We Are Now) pens snappy glimpses of its personalities, trends, events and general mayhem, including topics such as the gender gap and eligible men, fat New Yorkers, the New York City pooper-scooper law, gangster Nicky Mr. Untouchable Barnes, and the terror and fear of the 9/11 tragedy. His writing really crackles when he sinks his teeth into the antics of some of those who put their stamp on the city, such as writers Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin in their 1969 madcap political race, Mayor Bloomberg's deep pockets for wooing voters or President Obama's early student days of roughing it in Manhattan. Street-smart, informative and occasionally hilarious, Roberts's new book is New York City as it is and always has been. 20 b&w line drawings. (Nov.)
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Review

"A staple among readers of the New York Times, urban affairs correspondent Roberts collects 40 of his podcasts for the Times Web site—savvy snapshots of the city that prides itself on its restless energy. Roberts (Who We Are Now) pens snappy glimpses of its personalities, trends, events and general mayhem, including topics such as the gender gap and “eligible men,” fat New Yorkers, the New York City pooper-scooper law, gangster Nicky “Mr. Untouchable” Barnes, and the terror and fear of the 9/11 tragedy. His writing really crackles when he sinks his teeth into the antics of some of those who put their stamp on the city, such as writers Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin in their 1969 madcap political race, Mayor Bloomberg's deep pockets for wooing voters or President Obama's early student days of roughing it in Manhattan. Street-smart, informative and occasionally hilarious, Roberts's new book is New York City as it is and always has been."--Publishers Weekly

"Currently the Urban Affairs reporter for The New York Times, Roberts has covered the city for 40 years. So as we locals say, he knows from, and it shows in this fabulous collection of essays. With wit and grace, he tells stories of its citizens — some illustrious, others not; some living, others long dead. But the story he's really telling is that of New York, and he nails it."--New York Daily News


 

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312387776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312387778
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Roberts is the Urban Affairs Correspondent of The New York Times and the host of New York Times Close Up on NY1 News.

For more on "A History of New York in 101 Objects" see:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/artifacts-that-encapsulate-new-york-city/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=eta1&_r=0

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sam Roberts has written a wonderful book for any current New Yorker, ex-New Yorker and wannabe New Yorker, a potential readership of roughly--what shall we say?--50 million people around the world. Mr. Roberts, a veteran of the New York Daily News and The New York Times, is the perfect guide to a city he so clearly loves, potholes and all. His subjects range from the funeral of the Rosenbergs to the closing of his high school (Samuel J. Tilden) to whatever strikes his always inquisitive fancy. As a former New Yorker (born in Brooklyn, bred--if that's the right word--in Queens) who writes this while sitting in a fog-bound house in northern California while wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers cap, I can only urge you to buy and enjoy this book. And don't wait `til next year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
<blockquote>“It comes down to this: Do you want to live in the greatest city in the U.S.A. or do you want to save $2,000 a year and live in the suburbs of St. Louis? It sure sounds like some of you are disappointed in New York because you never figured out how to live here.”Read more at location 201

"These essays are about a city that too often forgets what its past has to offer and sometimes shortsightedly foregoes its future. New Yorkers are consumed with the present. Yet the chief constant in a city that began celebrating its quadricentennial in 2009 is change"</blockquote>

Less a narrative and more a collection of the author's podcasts with some footnotes to update the stories from their original air date. Roberts has a nose for NYC due to his time with the Daily News & NY Times and is an intriguing story teller. While this collection is somewhat dated-most pieces date from 2006-2008-the NYC they discuss has been present for the last 400 years and will likely be here in 400. Of particular interest were his stories on doormen, subways and the NYC pop culture connection. I didn't care for this as much as I did his [book:Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America|15018872], but it was an enjoyable, quick read
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who love the City of New York, this is a delightful book and an easy-read. Written by the excellent Sam Roberts, a veteran New York Times reporter and native NYer who obviously loves this city, it is a collection of brief stories about the people and places that make this city so unique. Roberts has the reporter's knack for finding the quirky and fascinating details in this complex bee-hive of constant activity. He also has a delightfully droll sense of humor which makes this easy-to-read collection even more fun.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never seen one of Mr. Roberts' podcasts but, if these little articles are any indication, I'm sure they are quite interesting. As you read through these seventy-odd short pieces, you can almost hear how they are made for a voice to read them aloud. It's a pleasant way to while away a few hours; especially if you are someone like me: a transplant to New York City who likes to learn as much as possible about my home of the past decade.

Mr. Roberts has divided his book into four sections: "Only in New York," "New Yorkers," "History Lessons," and "My New York". Unfortunately, the slowest moving (and longest) section is the first. Granted, there's a lot of fascinating stuff, but there's also a lot of statistical data of various types. In the individual, bite-sized chunks of these stories, it's not bad reading but it's difficult for story after story.

After this first section, however, things pick up considerably. I'm always a fan of history and learning about New Yorkers (both well-known and less so) and the city itself is a real treat. And yet, the best section is the last. Mr. Roberts' personal stories are probably the most engaging. The story of sharing an apartment with his niece and the story of acquiring the "stop the presses" button from a New York Times auction are my favorites. I've even repeated these stories to friends of mine.

It's clear that Mr. Roberts is well-versed in New York City, its history, its people, and its quirks. Anyone interested in the City would be well-advised to check this book out.
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