This collection of essays looks back with some nostalgia and some disgust at the City in the 70s, 80s, & 90s. For most of the authors, New York once was full of crime, sex, and drugs, yet the rents were low and the City maintained its own character. Today they sneer that interlopers have moved in, built luxury lofts, priced out everything that made New York unique and replaced it with typical American suburbia. Most of the essayists to some extent sink into insufferable self-importance which makes this book hard to read at times.
There’s a lot of hyperbole, but there’s truth mixed in. And there’s still a lot to love about New York. Each borough gets its own tribute, with the one on Staten Island being the most illuminating since I know little about that area. There are also great stories on graffiti, civil rights, art, rock music, and ethnic foods. If you love New York, this book is worth checking out. If you hate New York, this book isn’t going to change your mind.
New York calling : from blackout to Bloomberg / edited by Marshall Berman and Brian Berger.
Publication Info. London : Reaktion, 2007.
Description 368 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.