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Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis Paperback – September 26, 2006
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“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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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:
History Happened Here
What is this Thing
As the author says, all you need is a metro-Card and a good pair of walking shoes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't know that when I ordered this book it was a print on demand .I had the original but due to water in the basement from the water heater I lost the first printing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian
A fascinating and intimate glimpse of the side of a city's history you won't find in your run o' the mill guidebooks. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ryan Roenfeld
It's a great book about the little known places of NYC. Can't wait to go back there to explore NYC from a new perspective.Published 15 months ago by D. Honaker
a wonderful book. I was born and raised in n.y.c. have always been interested in n.y.c. history. this book covers what I would call neighborhood history. Read morePublished 16 months ago by jeffrey platt
Mr. Walsh's first book about New York City history, wonderfully written and copiously illustrated, which serves as an introduction to his great web site "Forgotten New... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Adagietto