The Intimate City: Walking New York (Hardcover)
For anyone in need of an audiobook for your morning commute, no matter where you live, this is the one you need! (Support Indie and check it out on Libro.Fm!)
The Intimate City was written for New York lovers, city connoisseurs, architect buffs, or just someone curious about the infinite routes you can take on its streets. Compiled during the pandemic, Michael Kimmelman talks with various New Yorkers about their favorite walks throughout the city-- ranging from history on the land itself, to the buildings and their owners, all the way to a beaver named Justin. It covers 4 of the 5 boroughs and gives incredibly insight to the history this city continues to make as the biggest urban center in the country. When you think of New York, you can imagine the amount that it has to offer to its citizens and tourists.
This book is both incredibly well written, as well as respectful to every single culture and nationality that calls New York its home-- including the original tribes and their names for the land before anyone else had even thought about the new world.
I was particularly surprised at how much ecology and geology was mentioned. With the return of native wildlife to the Bronx River, to the schist underneath the buildings, and the rolling topography no one even thinks about when walking the concrete streets.
This book has a little of something for everyone, and is a keeper on my favorite nonfiction books list! -- Makayla R., Best Cellars Colfax Manager
From the New York Times architecture critic, his celebrated walking tours of New York City, now expanded, covering four of the five boroughs and some 540 million years of history, accompanied by some of the people who know it best
As New York came to a halt with COVID, Michael Kimmelman composed an email to a group of architects, historians, writers, and friends, inviting them to take a walk. Wherever they liked, he wrote—preferably someplace meaningful to them, someplace that illuminated the city and what they loved about it. At first, the goal was distraction. At a scary moment when everything seemed uncertain, walking around New York served as a reminder of all the ways the city was still a rock, joy, and inspiration. What began with a lighthearted trip to explore Broadway’s shuttered theater district and a stroll along Museum Mile when the museums were closed soon took on a much larger meaning and ambition. These intimate, funny, richly detailed conversations between Kimmelman and his companions became anchors for millions of Times readers during the pandemic. The walks unpacked the essence of urban life and its social fabric—the history, plans, laws, feats of structural engineering, architectural highlights, and everyday realities that make up a place Kimmelman calls “humanity’s greatest achievement.”
Filled with stunning photographs documenting the city during the era of COVID, The Intimate City is the ultimate insider’s guide. The book includes new walks through LGBTQ Greenwich Village, through Forest Hills, Queens, and Mott Haven, in the Bronx. All the walks can be walked, or just be read for pleasure, by know-it-all New Yorkers or anyone else. They take readers back to an age when Times Square was still a beaver pond and Yankee Stadium a salt marsh; across the Brooklyn Bridge, for green tea ice cream in Chinatown, for momos and samosas in Jackson Heights, to explore historic Black churches in Harlem and midcentury Mad Men skyscrapers on Park Avenue. A kaleidoscopic portrait of an enduring metropolis, The Intimate City reveals why New York, despite COVID and a long history of other calamities, continues to inspire and to mean so much to those who call it home and to countless others.
"A surprisingly uplifting time capsule and a new kind of love letter to the city seen through the eyes of those who know it intimately."—Good Housekeeping
“New York City comes alive in this scintillating collection of conversations between New York Times architecture critic Kimmelman . . . An enchanting and lyrical montage of an ever-evolving city.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A rich tapestry of architecture, urban living, and civic resilience . . . Throughout, the author and his guides never lose sight of the people who live and work in these communities. Fascinating historical facts abound . . . An important book for readers interested in understanding New York through its architecture.” —Kirkus