on 9 December 2007
The 'New Yorker' writer Adam Gopnik has put together a wonderful collection of essays about his family life in New York - in the shadow of the September 11th attacks. He manages to encapsulate the real spirit of Manhattan - from the sleazy depths of seventies Times Square, through the heyday of the grand department stores, to the strange combination of fear and diffidence which followed the attack on the Twin Towers. The stories range from the scholarly, to the intensely moving to the hilarious - like his 3 year old daughter's imaginary friend, Charlie Ravioli, who is always 'running to a meeting' and too busy to see her. In the end, a worried Gopnik consults a child psychiatrist after his daughter invents an imaginary assistant for her stressed-out imaginary friend: the answer? 'Now that could only happen in New York'.
If you've ever thrilled to the beat of the city that never sleeps - if you yearn for the bagels and lox, the all-night diners with their towering mounds of pastrami on rye, the kvetching, the steam that billows from subway vents, the buildings that reach impossibly high into the clouds, Fred's at Barney's on a Saturday at noon or waiting in line for brunch in the West Village while reading the latest sarcastic critique of the latest hot chef in the Times - then buy this book.
on 29 July 2009
This has got to be one of my favourite books i've read this year. Beautifully written and filled with such well created images that one can only aspire to visit New York. I recently did, and Gopnik's book provided an alternative guide to exploring the city... i reached the childrens gate only to find a lone hot dog seller obscuring the name.