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Only in New York: An Exploration of the World's Most Fascinating, Frustrating and Irrepressible City [Hardcover]

by Sam Roberts, Pete Hamill
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 27, 2009 0312387776 978-0312387778 1st
No one denies that New York City is unique—but what makes it sui generis? Sam Roberts, longtime city reporter, has puzzled over this in print and in his popular New York Times podcasts for years. In Only in New York, he writes about what makes New York tick and why things are the way they are in the greatest of all cities on earth. The forty essays in this book cover a variety of topics, including:
• Why do we have doormen?
• Is it noisier in the city or in the country?
• Are New Yorkers really as liberal as the rest of the country thinks they are?
• Why wasn’t Manhattan’s cross-town street grid oriented by the points of the compass?
• If a neighborhood loses its tony zipcode, does it lose its cachet?
A winning and informative gift book for every fan of “the city”, Only in New York is elegantly written and solidly reported.


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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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


 

 


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: 11.1 x 3.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book January 2, 2010
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Only in New Yorik January 18, 2013
By ellen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting if you are a New Yorker. I enjoyed reading about the state I love. No ploace like New York.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating New York City stories May 6, 2010
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New York City Vignettes July 4, 2010
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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