Its such a fantastic city though isnt it, you cant explain it properly to people, you have to go there! The atmosphere, the buzz, its brilliant!
I really want to go back we did everything we wanted and more in 5 days earler this year but theres still loads more to do! When did you go?
New York City Books:
Books based in New York:
Looking for a good read (NY History):
Bubble06, I have sent you a Private Message to discuss further if you wish.
This is why we long to come back again and again - to revist the wonders we discovered on previous visits and to uncover more still.
I know that three times in five years (about 13 days in total) is never going to be enough!
I've lost count....
but it's three hundred and forty-something days (and counting!) before I can return!!! D'oh!!
THE ISLAND IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD by Russell Shorto
This is a fascinating look at Dutch-era NY, an era that generally gets little attention. The book is based on newly-discovered documents, painstakingly translated from the old-Dutch, which allows us a glance at the everyday life of early New Yorkers (or should I call them New Amsterdamers? )
The most interesting thing I found about the book is that it shows that New York's long-established business-friendly attitude created conditions that made religious and social freedoms essential aspects of society. This is very much unlike other early American settlements that were based on strictly religious convictions. For example, within only a few years of New Amsterdamís establishment, over a dozen languages were spoken, varying religions were practiced, and any pilgrim would have fainted on the spot after seeing some of types of business that was conducted openly. This situation was not tolerated solely because settlers were needed for the cityís growth; Dutch tradition, for the most part, encouraged the establishment of these freedoms.
The Dutch, in founding New Amsterdam, introduced many of the values that, even now, are the cornerstone of this nation.
If you are looking for books with current photos of NY, there are an awful lot of them and its hard for me to recommend one without knowing more about what you are interested in seeing.
For historical photos I recommend:
1) The Historical Atlas Of New York City: A Visual Celebration Of 400 Years Of New York City's History by Eric Homberger
(This is must buy, for its history as well as its maps and other images)
2) New York: An Illustrated History by Ric Burns, James Sanders, Lisa Ades
(recommended above as well, and I second the recommendation)
3) The Destruction of Lower Manhattan by Danny Lyon
(a great look at NY in the 60s)
4) Berenice Abbott: Changing New York by Bonnie Yochelson and Berenice Abbott
(a great look at 1930-40s NY)
5) New York Changing: Revisiting Berenice Abbott's New York By Douglas Levere, Bonnie Yochelson, and Paul Goldberger
(I’ve not seen this book but it seems pretty interesting. Its displays Berenice's photos along with current photos of the same locales.)
I'm a bit of a collector of NYC and Hudson Valley themed books so feel free to reply here or PM me if you want for more specific recommendations.
I am interested in finding out more about street and place names in NYC, and have sorted out the names of a couple of books I may buy.
a) Naming New York. Sanna Feirsein. New York University Press.
b) The Street Book (An Encyclopedia of Manhattan Street Names and Their Origins. Henry Moscow. Fordham University Press.
Any advice is welcome.
Also any opinions on ("The Encyclopedia of NYC". Kenneth T. Jackson. Yale University Press), would be helpful.
I bought the "Encyclopedia" a couple years ago,and have spent many hours since digesting what is in there.This is a dense book,a proper encyclopedia.It has heft,both in weight and information.There are nearly 1400 pages,and they are all coated with squinty print.If you buy the book,get a magnifying glass to go along with it.
The book (at least the edition I have) is somewhat dated now,having been copyrighted in 1995,but as a source for the answers to the many questions those curious about the Big City may ask,it's invaluable.
Kenneth Jackson,a New York enthusiast and architecture pundit for the "Times",was editor.
Want to know who Phil Ochs was,and why Woody Guthrie wound up in NY,or read a history of the Normandie? Do you even know about The Mad Bomber,NY's own homegrown terrorist?
There are 8 full pages about architecture and probably another two hundred seperate entries about significant buildings.
Sports gets 4 pages.So do songs about the City.
You can find out who the Bruckner Expressway was named after,then read about how Robert Moses forever screwed up the Bronx by building it.How about something concerning Malba?
Probably anything discussed on these pages is represented in this book--except pizza,and that may be in there somewhere,under "Italians" or "restaurants"...
There are tons of photos,maps,lists,population figures,notable buildings,and hundreds of biographies of New Yorkers,some very interesting.
Whatever you need to know.It's probably the last pre-digital effort of it's kind.
Last week,I stopped into a little rare and used bookstore on Broadway in the 80s.He had a copy and wanted $40 for it;I bought mine online and paid about the same,considering the shipping charges.Shipping anvils would be cheaper,I think.
I would definately reccommend The Mole People, by Jennifer Toth. An insight into life in the tunnels under New York. Written in the early 90's.
New York In The Forties: Feininger
A few of my favorite new books:
New York Streetscapes: A great book about the fascinating history and back stories behind great buildings, many of which will be newly introduced.
Robert Moses and the Modern City: A great book about parks, highways, and housing projects built under the Moses' era.
New York 2000: I would recommend this book on the pictures alone, I doubt I'll ever have the time to finish it, great great book.
These don't concern just New York, but they're mostly focused on it:
- Sidewalk Critic: Lewis Mumford's writings on New York
- Form Follows Finance, by Carol Willis. It follows the development of skyscrapers in NY and Chicago and how market demands and zoning laws (literally) shaped them.
And I'm with Stern on New York 2000. I haven't bought the book yet, but I've probably spent about 5 hours in a Borders pouring myself over it. Great stuff.
About halfway finished with Gotham - History of NYC up to 1898 - so far very interesting.