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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable. Slight water damage may be present.
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The Last Bohemia: Scenes from the Life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Paperback – August 7, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"His clear-eyed, heartfelt elegy shows why a Williamsburg―free, fecund, gloriously threadbare―is so vital to the culture."―Publishers Weekly

"With a fine ear for dialogue and a nonjudgmental eye, Anasi conjures the pre-9/11 atmosphere of the place, in which the beer flowed like water and there was always a place to crash after a night of pub crawling. An impressive bit of literary journalism and a sympathetic look at a vanished era."―Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Robert Anasi is the author of The Gloves: A Boxing Chronicle (North Point Press, 2002). He teaches literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a Schaeffer and Chancellor's Club fellow. He is also a founding editor of the literary journal Entasis.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Originals (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374533318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374533311
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a person who grew up living in Williamsburg Brooklyn, I can really relate to the way Robert Anasi describes the unique rawness of living in Williamsburg in the 80 & 90's had to offer. It was a hidden gem, extremely affordable, close proximity to Manhattan a haven for future artist, yet dark and dangerous at times making you develop a tough thick skin about you. Now with all these new developments and high priced real estate moving in like the Edge, Wholefoods, Duane Reade's, and original burg people like me dodging over crowded Bedford Avenue sidewalks with Yuppy outsider types pushing expensive stollers ready to knock me over in a second, I feel as though Williamsburg is sadly losing its charm and what made it so special. If you want to go back in time, see what care fee living was like living in the Burg before all this gentrification happened then I suggest you read Robert Anasi's The Last Bohemia.
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Format: Paperback
I visited Williamsburg for the first time back in 1997. My professor had a studio there in an old warehouse, and looking back on it, I realize how ignorant I was. It was a great place to live, but only for economic reasons. The rent was cheap and there was ample parking, and as far as logistics were concerned, it was a short ride on the L train away from NYU. But socially, it wasn’t great. There weren’t a lot of good restaurants (unless you liked Polish, Italian, or typical roadside diners) and the bar scene catered to construction workers. The only people that lived there were looking for cheap rent and big spaces. But by 2000, I wished I’d seen the huge potential. Dopey me.

Robert Anasi’s The Last Bohemia is a great book by a writer who was there the whole time. He narrates this great history of the area, from a time when it was a backwater to the present day “hipster” hangout. When I say hipster, I’m not making any compliments; the so-called “hip” is little more than a bunch of snobs trying to one-up everyone else with their expensive clothing and knowledge of every bar, band, and eatery. The real “hip” people lived in Williamsburg because the rent was cheap. The real artists had to work, and they put up with the place being not much fun.

Anasi doesn’t pull any punches when describing the uber-stylish. He has a lot of respect for the people that lived there before it was cool, and those are the people that got priced out. It truly is the “last bohemia,” because there’s no place like it left in this city (unless you want to trek farther and farther from Manhattan.)

This book reminds me of the recent In Love With Art, because 1970’s Soho is described in a similar way; run-down, few restaurants, but safe, because nobody had anything to steal.
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Format: Paperback
I saw a mention of this book in the ny post and since i know someone who lives in billyburg and have visited there a number of times and thought it a very uninteresting place thats been getting too much hype especially in the ny media i decided to get the book. Anasi's not a bad writer but tries too hard and it gets a little too boringly memoir-y about his life. I also find or rather suspect that some of his adventures and macho talk are invented. He has sort of a john rechy writing style and thats cool. Okay -- whats missing. A MAP OF WILLIAMSBURG. So we know the street locations he's wrting about. Its like a biography without photos. Hard ti believe this book was produced without a MAP of the subject. Just a quick follow: he basically tells his story of williamsburg through profiles of people he knew there. After a while, those profiles become boring and tedious. Its almost as if he lost the theme, williamsburg. I figure i'll slog through the rest of it and raise or lower my ranking.
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By robyn on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a third generation Greenpoint/Williamsburg resident and reading this book brought back so many memories. Anasi reiterates the same stories my dad and uncles have told me, and recreated the images that shaped my childhood. To those who said this book is all about drugs, you're mistaken. It was happening, I knew exactly what it meant when I dropped a heroin addled uncle off on Bedford and North 7th in the early 90s. But Anasi also describes the character of the old neighborhood as well, from the industrial landscapes that adorned Williamsburg, to the natives who defined and shaped the neighborhood. With Williamsburg losing more and more of its soul every day, it's wonderful to have that little chunk of remembrance.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Part local history lesson, part cultural study, part memoir, and part savvy street poetry, "The Last Bohemia" covers the neighborhoods and people of Brooklyn's Williamsburg with understanding and generosity without being blind to the dangers and social inequities that author Robert Anasi finds while living there. The author's ear never fails him; Chris, Rebecca, Napoleon, Marcin, and lively fellow cast members are all fully drawn, speaking in cadences that have the ironclad ring of authenticity. Anasi traces roughly twenty years (1988-2008) of urban transition in ways that make you care about (and maybe fear for) the future of US cities.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book a wonderful travelling companion. Interweaving elements of memoir, pop history and cultural criticism, -The Last Bohemia- raises journalism to the level of art. Anasi's prose is fully awake all the time and full of incidental delights; his experiments with narrative chronology splice a portrait of the artist as a young man with that of a community "in transition" to create a casually elegaic tribute to a place that won't come again.
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