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review 2017-05-18 00:00
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me - Bill Hayes A mix of unrelated journal entries and photos (that had no role to advance the text). I admire the poetic genius of Oliver Sacks and the attraction for New York but somehow this book missed something that could have made it a memorable memoir.
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text 2017-05-05 18:34
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!
Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 - Mike Wallace

I can't believe it -- volume 2 of Mike Wallace's history of New York City is finally coming out!

 

This book has been two decades in the making, and while I'm disappointed that it only goes up to 1919 (which, given Wallace's age, raises the disappointing prospect that he will never cover the whole of the 20th century), if it's even half as good as volume 1 it will be an amazing work in which I will spend many hours immersed.

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review 2017-05-02 19:00
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge - David McCullough,Edward Herrmann

 

What more can I say about The Great Bridge that hasn't already been said? Not all that much.

 

The men who engineered and built this bridge were amazing-courageous, brilliant and talented. Some might even say they were insane, as the working conditions down in the caissons were extremely dangerous. I didn't even know what a caisson was until I read this book and now that I know, my respect for these workmen and engineers has grown.

 

I thought this book would be dry, and some parts were, but I learned a lot. Perhaps the extensive portions about the celebrations when the bridge finally opened could have been cut a little bit, but that's my only complaint.

 

This was a fascinating account of a huge event in American and New York history and I recommend it.

 

Thanks to my local library for the audio of this book!

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review 2017-04-21 22:57
New York City Monsters Anne Paradis
New York City Monsters: A Search-and-Find Book - Anne Paradis,Lucile Danis Drouot

This is absolutely an awesome book. The whole series is actually. The kids and I have read a few of the books from the series. The kids love finding all of the monsters on each page and I love that they get a lesson about things in each of the cities. These books are fun for the kids and the parents both.

 

This book is about exploring New York City. All of the main sites are listed throughout the book. You get to see the Statue of Liberty, The empire State Building,  Grand Central Station and more. There is a small paragraph written about each site. Also there are Monsters hidden all over the place. There is a spot on each page telling yo how many Monsters to find. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2017-04-19 15:10
The "might have beens" of the Big Apple
The City That Never Was: Two Hundred Years of Fantastic and Fascinating Plans That Might Have Changed the Face of New York City - Rebecca Read Shanor

Cities are ever-changing works in progress, and for every building, thoroughfare, and public space that exists there are unrealized plans that would have resulted in very different urbanscapes. In this well-illustrated book Rebecca Read Shanor looks at some of the alternative designs for America's largest metropolis that never came to pass. She divides this examination into six chapters, detailing various proposals for different streets, public buildings, transportation systems, bridges, parks, and monuments throughout the city. For each of them she describes their genesis, how they were received, and why it was that the visions never became reality, which produces a series of stories of visionaries who aspired to change New York City and the various pitfalls which frustrated their dreams.

 

Read Shanor's book provides an intriguing look at the New York that might have been. While her selection of projects is a little idiosyncratic (I was disappointed that the Dewey Arch was not even mentioned, let alone described), the ones she details provide excellent case studies that demonstrate the numerous reasons why many projects are never realized -- indeed, after reading this book, it can seem to be a wonder that anything is ever built. In some cases (such as Robert Moses's infamous Lower Manhattan Expressway) the city is better for the projects that never becoming reality, yet Read Shanor details more than a few the failure of which is regrettable. While there is no way of knowing how things would have turned out in the long run, it is fascinating to speculate how different New York might be had some of these proposals been built.

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