I've read this book so many times over that I've actually become sentimentally attached to it. Most of the enjoyment from it is reliving the time in which it's set, the 1980s, an interesting time in the way that the clothing was: at times conservative, other times colorful, overall intriguing, but there's still no way in hell you'd want to BE in it again.
This book captures the lives of the wacky, egocentric NY artists who reflect their hated yuppie counterparts in that they're upwardly mobile, albeit nonconformistly, greedy and self-centered. But unlike yuppies, the artists of the Lower East Side present far more colorful stories and egos to capitalize on.
Fortunately the book has Eleanor, the self-deprecating protagonist to whom we all endear. She keeps the book light-hearted and comical, as she is the offbeat among the offbeat, the miscast in the world of misfits. She is the self-conscious woman who clashes with, and makes uncomfortable, her fellow carefree artists. But she eventually finds her ground in the big city. We root for because she conquers the city the way we wish we could: by keeping intact our integrity, humility, and naivete, and not succumbing to the cynicism and selfishness of the "Me" generation.