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New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of the New York Times First Edition Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814775721
ISBN-10: 0814775721
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The City section of the Sunday edition of the New York Times features vivid accounts of life, past and present, in the five boroughs. Rosenblum, who edits the City section, has collected 40 representative pieces that showcase the ups and downs of life in a metropolis that still exerts a gravitational pull on those seeking their fortune. Many of the essays are by well-known authors, such as Jan Morris, Phillip Lopate and Vivian Gornick, but others, equally winning, are by emerging writers. All of the pieces are engrossing and share a painstaking attention to craft. Mel Gussow dramatically evokes the day in 1970 when the Greenwich Village townhouse next door to him, occupied by members of the radical Weather Underground, was blown apart in an accidental detonation in their basement bomb factory. On a lighter note, Tara Bahrampour recounts the paradigmatic New York experience: searching for an affordable apartment. Field Maloney and Jill Eisenstadt each relate the glory days of Queens's Rockaway Beach as a summer resort, its sad decline and enduring allure. This is both an excellent addition to New York history and a pleasure for casual browsing. B&w photos. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“You don't have to have a particular interest in the Big Apple to pick up this book. These are stories of human life in all its quirky richness. . . . New York Stories is a series of love letters to a city that, for all its problems and peculiarities, beckons people from all over the world.”
-Boston Globe



“Rosenblum, who edits the City section, has collected 40 representative pieces that showcase the ups and downs of life in a metropolis that still exerts a gravitational pull on those seeking their fortune. Many of the essays are by well-known authors, such as Jan Morris, Phillip Lopate and Vivian Gornick, but others, equally winning, are by emerging writers. All of the pieces are engrossing and share a painstaking attention to craft. … This is both an excellent addition to New York history and a pleasure for casual browsing.”
-Publishers Weekly



“Given the subject matter, it should come as no surprise that the pieces evoke a powerful sense of place. Coming as this does from the pages of the New York Times, it is also no surprise that the material is of high literary caliber.”
-Library Journal



“A reminder that there are stories still untold in New York, and writers hard at work to find them for us.”
-The New York Times Book Review



“This collection of engaging stories will appeal to a broad range of adult readers interested in pushing back the concealing vapors of legend to discover the otherwise hidden gears and cogs that keep the enchanted ideal of New York City humming smoothly along.”
-Foreward

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814775721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814775721
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
On occasion, I read two books at about the same time which are an "odd couple" indeed. For example, this book and Dale Maharidge's Denison, Iowa. As editor, Constance Rosenblum focuses on the "glories, frustrations, and peculiar appeal" of New York City and the same can be said of Maharidge's perspectives on Denison. Although there are many stunning differences between the two cultures, both exemplify the best and worst of what is often referred to as the "American Experience."

With regard to this book, Rosenblum has assembled a selection of articles which first appeared in the Best of the City section in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. In quite different ways, they reveal what she calls "the essence of one of the world's extraordinary places." The material is organized within four Parts: A Sense of Place, Moods and Mores, New Yorkers, and City Lore. Articles are grouped accordingly although several could be included in several of the four. The variety of subjects and points-of-view seem especially appropriate to New York. For example:

In "The House on 11th Street," Mel Gussow reflects back three decades to when young radicals blew up an elegant brownstone house in Greenwich Village, sharing "echoes of the past" which continue to linger.

In "Nothing But Net," Thomas Beller describes "a patch of asphalt" in a West Village playground which seems like an "empty page in the urban landscape" because it needs players "to give it meaning."

In "The Allure of the Ledge," Ivor Hanson explains why the window washer is "the ultimate risk taker, the ultimate voyeur" while "working close to the clouds.
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Every single chapter has a different, secret and sometimes not so secret story to tell about the most hidden corners of New York, as you go by every single page of this book you'll find yourself walking through the long blocks of Manhattan or the antique Brownstones of Brooklyn just making it very easy to place yourself in the location the author wants to describe.
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This book is worth a five star rating (to me, at least) because it brings back many memories of when I used to work in Manhattan as a shipping/logistics clerk for a major shipping line. The personalized stories make one feel as if he were there in the story. All in all, a great pick! Don't miss it!
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This is one of the best books for better, but never completely, understanding New York whether you live there or not. Compiled from the City Section of The New York Times, a section which began in 1993 the short, illuminating essays included appeared between 2000 and 2004. The collection covers a fascinating time in the city's history even though its history is interesting all the time. It kicks off with a beautifully written introduction from Constance Rosenblum, the section's editor who reveals her feelings for both the city's environs and inhabitants. The book has four sections; A Sense of Place, Moods and Mores, New Yorkers, and City Lore.

Starting in A Sense of Place, `The House on West 11th Street' is a fine first choice as a New York story telling a brownstone's history that includes its destruction by The Weathermen, its neighbor Dustin Hoffman, and its rebuilding. `The Old Neighbors' essay muses on those who have previously lived in our homes. In Moods and Mores, it was fascinating to hear from a window washer in `The Allure of the Ledge'. Fear, voyeurism, and pride in profession make this an eclectic and engaging piece. This section overall provides a vivid picture of home life in an incredible dense and complex place. The search for an appropriate apartment is a frustrating odyssey revealed in `There's No Place Like Home. But There's...No Place'. Suzanne Vega's pursuit of a driver's license and a bizarre electrical death are other standouts in this section.

People accounts in `New Yorkers' include the fascinating Collyer brothers and some less notable hoarders who made their nests in the city. Fare beaters, panhandlers and other characters are included in the collection.
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