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The New York nobody knows : walking 6,000…
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The New York nobody knows : walking 6,000 miles in the city (origineel 2013; editie 2015)

door William B. Helmreich

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1395151,979 (3.8)3
As a child growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line, ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood. Decades later, his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever. Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs--an astonishing 6,000 miles. His journey took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and all walks of life. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan. Truly unforgettable, The New York Nobody Knows will forever change how you view the world's greatest city.… (meer)
Lid:NuffieldLibrary
Titel:The New York nobody knows : walking 6,000 miles in the city
Auteurs:William B. Helmreich
Info:Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2015.
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Trefwoorden:2019 Hilary Term and Easter Vacation Accessions, New Books Display

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The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City door William B. Helmreich (2013)

Onlangs toegevoegd doorbesloten bibliotheek, alcottacre, mlavallee, alexpoller, wwj, NAScholars, HilaryCallahan, HoltMcAuliffe, PamelaPearl
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Toon 5 van 5
Interesting. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
The title suggests that the author has walked every block of every street and this book is going to be a story of this walks. But for Helmreich, the walks are just a launch pad for something bigger, a sociological/ethnographic portrait of the City today in a single volume. It’s a huge undertaking, but I think he succeeds in creating a comprehensive portrait of contemporary New York, built on statistics, and illustrated with stories from his walk. His take on gentrification and life in New York for the poor today as well as the recent immigrant experience are particularly interesting. This is a good book for people interested in New York or in studies of urban environments. ( )
  Othemts | Jun 24, 2015 |
Not bad but a phoney excuse to write a potboiler history of NYC, since the professor's walks through the city are not documented and appear to be totally besides the point. Very good on the recent immigrant experience, which was new to me. ( )
  annbury | Dec 24, 2013 |
William B. Helmreich has accomplished a rather remarkable feat. Over the course of four years, the graduate professor of sociology at City University of New York has covered all 6,000 miles of New York City's streets by foot. While his book includes the subtitle, "Walking 6,000 Miles in the City," his pedestrian (here I am obviously referring to the noun rather than the adjective) accomplishment is not the focal point of The New York Nobody Knows. Instead, he presents a detailed and insightful examination of the various sociological aspects of the city. He bolsters his analysis by drawing from his experiences walking New York's streets as well as from his day job as an academic. Helmreich's book is an engrossing and very informative sociological study of New York that is especially strong when covering the less-popular boroughs that are far less popular in the literature about the city. It was published by Princeton University Press and is certainly a valuable resource for any student of the field but The New York Nobody Knows is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in learning more about the city and its various and often colorful inhabitants.

The book is ordered thematically rather than geographically, further demonstrating that Helmreich's purpose is not to merely outline his four years of constitutionals. Instead, it is organized thematically. Helmreich looks into sociological subjects such as immigration, gentrification, and crime as they relates to New York. He devotes some time to the built environment, but he mainly concerns himself with getting to know the people of the city. Helmreich often stopped various people on the street for interviews, including in the more dangerous areas such as East New York and South Bronx. These impromptu conversations really enrich the book as they are able to provide additional perspective, and Helmreich's sit-downs with former mayors Dinkins, Giuliani, and (soon-to be former anyway) Bloomberg are highlights as the author is able to spend quality time with all of them. The book is filled with compelling anecdotes from his travels and the various characters he encounters, such as a converted Orthodox Jew from Colorado who shills special kosher cheese to Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and what they can tell us about the city. In addition, he did plenty of homework in the bibliographical department and he draws from a plethora of other studies when making his points.

Helmreich is incredibly knowledgeable about the city, having grown up in Manhattan and previously worked as a cabdriver as well as a sociological researcher on urban issues such as homelessness. He writes well and my interest did not lag at any point. There were, however, certain passages that read a bit dry and reminded me that this is a professor writing a book published by a university. Though the title was likely tacked on by an editor (neighborhoods such as Williamsburg and Harlem get their fair share of ink and feature prominently in several sections (not that they shouldn't)) Helmreich does not gloss over the more obscure boros and neighborhoods. He draws many examples and anecdotes from neighborhoods in Staten Island and Queens which helps separate the book from other urban sociology books on the city more focused on more popular areas.

In Sum

One great thing about graduating college was that I could bypass informative articles and books on my academic fields without any guilt. I could really cherry pick the economics and urban policy literature to find works that actually interested me and abandon those that didn't. The New York Nobody Knows definitely falls into that "actually interesting" category. While I learned quite a bit about the city and its citizens, I also had a legitimately good time while doing so. The book is worth seeking out for any fans of Jane Jacobs or books such as Sidewalk by Mitchell Duenier and The Power Broker by Robert Caro.

8/10 ( )
  Liebo | Oct 14, 2013 |
It takes all kinds - and stirs

My favorite description of New York City is that it is very convenient to the United States without actually having to live there. William Helmreich examines the extent to which this is true in a remarkable tour of the city, that saw him cover more than six thousand miles – on foot – up and down every street there is.

When I was a reporter, I marveled at my privileged status. I got to go places and speak to people I would otherwise not only not have access to, but who would be suspicious if I tried. This book empowered Helmreich to accost anyone, anywhere. So he saw New York like no one else has. He found that people in sports bars also have automatic icebreakers asking the score, and dog walkers have it because of their pets. My favorite of his discoveries is that “many people don’t pay attention to what you say, as long as you say something”. It got him into numerous places and revealing conversations with total strangers.

New York is different than pretty much any major city in the world, because it is the proverbial melting pot. Races, colors, religions and nationalities have to live and work side by side in cramped quarters, and they do to an extent that is simply not replicated anywhere else. For anyone outside the city, this will be a revelation. For those who live it, it is acknowledgment and confirmation of a work in process. As former mayor David Dinkins told Helmreich, New York was the only major American city to not break out in riots after the Rodney King incident in LA. New Yorkers look at things differently, and this book makes that really come alive.

New Yorkers don’t expect comfort and are resilient, he says. They may congregate by common interest, be it bocce or church or homeland or food. Some neighborhoods are fiercely united. Some districts have gangs. Some people mix. Some sit it out. It all combines to give the city a wealth of character, characters, variety, and depth.

Helmreich spends a lot of effort on gentrification as an issue: the situations it causes and changes. But gentrification is just a function of change. New York is constantly changing, renewing some neighborhoods while others slide. There is no stasis and no normal. Come back in ten years and the neighborhood will be different. Fugeddaboudit. New York City is very much a living, evolving being. Gentrification is a just another phase.

Oddly, with all his perspectives and perceptions, broken out and neatly collected into dozens of categories with examples from all corners of this vast agglomeration representing all the world, Helmreich missed possibly the most destructive trend going. For all his love of ethnic delis and foreign groceries and mid block churches, New York has turned precipitously to mass market national chains. For a hundred years, you could shop till you dropped in New York in unique New York stores, without ever encountering a national chain. Shoppers came by their millions to experience it. Now, it’s all but impossible to avoid them. There are eight Starbucks in just 21 blocks (one mile) on Columbus Avenue, pretty much every other block. There are Home Depots and Old Navys and Best Buys and JC Pennys. New York is being homogenized, and not for the better. It is becoming a just another American city, not simply convenient to the United States, but undifferentiated from it.

Despite this glaring omission, The New York Nobody Knows is an excellent snapshot of a miraculous city. ( )
  DavidWineberg | Aug 16, 2013 |
Toon 5 van 5
For non-New Yorkers, the time the book spends on the outer boroughs is a fairly obvious corrective for what Helmreich sees as the tourism-generated, Manhattan-centric view of New York. And for all its diversity – the book spends hundreds of pages on the immigrant communities of the city – New York comes off as an inextricably linked web of groups that constantly must interact, change, and adjust. “It’s almost as if you dropped a hundred towns in Nebraska into the middle of the city,” Helmreich says. But what sets New York apart, he adds, is that "there's this duality to New York that you can be in these places, but you can also be in the city." Even those who live in more isolated pockets, such as the waterfront community of Edgewater Park in the Bronx, have a sense of connectedness.
toegevoegd door elenchus | bewerkCityLab.com, Stephanie Garlock (Nov 1, 2013)
 

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Wikipedia in het Engels (1)

As a child growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line, ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood. Decades later, his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever. Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs--an astonishing 6,000 miles. His journey took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and all walks of life. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan. Truly unforgettable, The New York Nobody Knows will forever change how you view the world's greatest city.

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