Seeing New York
History Walks for Armchair and Footloose Travelers
Publication: Mar 95
Publication: Mar 95
6 x 9
14 figs., 126 halftones, 14 maps
An off-the-beaten bath tour of New York that transcends the usual guide book
Since the 1700s, various ethnic and immigrant groups have been shifting and negotiating their place in New York City. Hope Cooke also struggled to find a "correlation of space" and "sense of belonging" when she returned to the city after spending her adult life living in a place in the Himalayas, the Queen of Sikkim (a tiny kingdom near Nepal). Abroad for so long, she returned with an urgent need to rediscover this city, to "find her way home."
It was not always a comfortable journey for Cooke: "On the days I felt secure, Manhattan's maelstrom was pure energy. On shaky days, the boundlessness made me yearn for limits, or, failing that, at least a vantage point." The book that has emerged is an entertaining and integrated account of New York City's social history, architecture, physical space, and culture. Starting with the American Indian settlements and the early days when the southern-most tip of Manhattan held little more than a bleak outpost of Dutch fur traders, Cooke tracks the economic development and journeys north, from the Village's beginnings as a refuge from dreaded summer fevers to the present day Dominican enclave of Washington Heights.
Written for armchair enthusiasts and walkabout adventurers, this book travels fourteen of the city's distinct and significant neighborhoods. Cooke's guide will make a historical sleuth out of local residents and tourists alike. Her off-the-beaten-path insights and witty observations help decode the urban landscape and reveal how social changes have reworked the city's terrain. Enhancing the narrative are 140 illustrations, including old engravings, maps, and current photographs.
Table of Contents
A Note to Readers and Walkers
1. Manhattan and the Harbor
2. South Street Seaport and Sailors' Snug Harbor: The Port and the Mariner
3. The Lower East Side: Immigration from Past to Present
4. Greenwich Village
5. The East Village
6. Irish History in Lower Manhattan
7. Brooklyn Heights: Victorian Bastion
8. Whitman's New York: From Soho to Fulton Ferry
9. Ladies' Mile
11. The Upper West Side
12. Fifth Avenue: Urban Chateaux
13. Asian Flushing
14. Washington Heights: Dominican Imprimaturs
About the Author
About the Author(s)
In the Series
Critical Perspectives on the Past edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig
Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, is concerned with the traditional and nontraditional ways in which historical ideas are formed. In its attentiveness to issues of race, class, and gender and to the role of human agency in shaping events, the series is as critical of traditional historical method as content. Emphasizing that history is itself an interpretation of material events, the series demonstrates that the historian's choices of subject, narrative technique, and documentation are politically as well as intellectually constructed.