New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloombergby Marshall Berman
Pub. Date: 09/15/2007
Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
New York City in the 1970s was the setting for Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, and Saturday Night Fever, the nightmare playground for Son of Sam and The Warriors, the proving grounds for graffiti, punk, hip-hop, and all manner of other public spectacle. Musicians, artists, and writers could subsist even in Manhattan, while immigrants from the/i>/i>/i>/i>
New York City in the 1970s was the setting for Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, and Saturday Night Fever, the nightmare playground for Son of Sam and The Warriors, the proving grounds for graffiti, punk, hip-hop, and all manner of other public spectacle. Musicians, artists, and writers could subsist even in Manhattan, while immigrants from the world over were reinventing the city in their own image. Others, fed up with crime, filth and frustration, simply split.
Fast-forward three decades and today New York can appear a glamorous metropolis, with real estate prices soaring higher than its skyscrapers. But is this fresh-scrubbed, affluent city really an improvement on its grittier--and more affordable--predecessor? Taking us back to the streets where eccentricity and anomie were pervasive, New York Calling unlocks life in the unpolished Apple, where, it seemed, anything could happen. All five boroughs--the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island--comprising hundreds of neighborhoods and the interlaced worlds of politics, crime, drugs, sex, and mischief, are explored with a love of the city unclouded by romance yet undimmed by cynicism.
Acclaimed historian Marshall Berman and journalist Brian Berger gather here a stellar group of writers and photographers who combine their energies to weave a rich tale of struggle, excitement, and wonder. John Strausbaugh explains how Uptown has taken over Downtown, as Tom Robbins examines the mayors and would-be mayors who have presided over the transformation. Margaret Morton chronicles the homeless, while Robert Atkins offers a personal view of the city’s gay culture and the devastating impact of aids. Anthony Haden-Guest and John Yau offer insiders’ views of the New York art world, while Brandon Stosuy and Allen Lowe recount their discoveries of the local rock and jazz scenes. Armond White and Leonard Greene approach African-American culture and civil rights from perspectives often marginalized in so-called polite conversation.
Daily life in New York has its dramatic moments too. Luc Sante gives us glimpses of a city perpetually on the grift, Jean Thilmany and Philip Dray share secrets of Gotham’s ethnic enclaves, Richard Meltzer walks, Jim Knipfel rides the subways, and Robert Sietsema criss-crosses the city, indefatigably tasting everything from giant Nigerian tree snails to Fujianese turtles.
It’s a long way from old Brooklyn to the new Times Square. But New York Calling reminds us of what has changed--and what’s been lost --along the way.
- Reaktion Books, Limited
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 7.50(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Table of Contents
Introduction – Marshall Berman
Openers – Brian Berger
From Wise Guys to Woo-Girls
Staten Island: The Forgotten Borough
There’s Hope For the Bronx
C. J. Sullivan
My Life in Graffiti
Who Walk in Brooklyn
Everyone-and-Everywhere in Queens
The Other New York Awaits its Leader
The Practice of Everyday Life
At Least it’s Not New York
New York State of Crime
Civil Rights: What Happens There Matters
“Speaking Truth to Power”
I Am a Renter
Growing Up Unrented on the Lower East Side
THE THINGS WE DO
Going Downtown (On an Uptown Train)
From Stonewall to Ground Zero
Sex Before Dot.com
An Incomplete History of New York Galleries
Scrapple From the Apple: New York Jazz
Death and Transfiguration in New York Rock
BIG ART Inc.
Coffee, Cocktails and Cigarettes
Writing New York
From Blackout to Blintzes (and Beyond)
Chronology – Brian Berger
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What I like about this book are the photographs, the stories in the writeups, and the not-the-usual-assumptions style and content of the writing. While all writers ending up in NYC end up writing about just Manhattan, here we have essays about Staten Island (appropriately subtitled 'The Forgotten Borough'). For all those that took the subway, got hit by the comicity of everyday events, and the non-stop beat, the text in this book really resonates. The quality of the paper and the binding is excellent. The photographs are inspiring, as not directly on your face what the image represents, but more a sarcastic and ironic side telling. In one word: 'depth'.