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Lost New York by Marcia Reiss
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Lost New York

by Marcia Reiss

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New York City provides endless eye candy to the world. It is the stage of countless feature films and television series. Its legendary figures are known worldwide. The shelf of books extolling some aspect of New York never stops expanding. Lost New York is a worthy entry, collecting the images of architecture long gone, by design, by fire, or by redundancy. When your quiet residential palace finds the entire neighborhood in retail, the streets clogged 24/7, and the taxes (now Commercial) quadrupled, well you just have to let go.

Each locale is described in detail, with its own story – who wanted it and why, how it came to be, and how it came to pass, followed by photos. The one thing missing is a map. In Rome, you can buy a poster on pretty much any streetcorner, depicting a map of Ancient Rome as a fully inhabited, lively city. All the ruins are fleshed out, the streets all connect. This book could benefit greatly from a map showing where all these great places were, with aerial views correctly positioning them. Because we don’t all live in New York. Some can only dream of it. Roosevelt Island? Show me. Polo Grounds? Show me. A map would put all these wonderful images and stories in perspective.

One thing Ayn Rand said was true: cities are the highest expression of mankind. The constant turnover of even brilliantly designed buildings is what keeps New York as the most exciting city to visit or live in. Lost New York proves it.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Dec 6, 2013 |
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Profiles places in New York City that have been destroyed, altered, and demolished during the twentieth century, with photographs of the original structures, background information, and stories about memorable individuals.

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