The Big Onion Guide to New York City: Ten Historic Tours

Overview

Visit the Big Onion Guide to New York City site at www.nyupress.org/bigonion

Whether you're a tourist or a native New Yorker, you will appreciate this witty, informative walking guide to New York City, as authors Seth Kamil and Eric Wakin peel back the layers of New York's most popular neighborhoods. Here in one volume are their award-winning tours. In their "Immigrant New York" tour you can take a walk on the Bowery, the most infamous street in the city and learn how the city's...

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The Big Onion Guide to New York City: Ten Historic Tours

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Overview

Visit the Big Onion Guide to New York City site at www.nyupress.org/bigonion

Whether you're a tourist or a native New Yorker, you will appreciate this witty, informative walking guide to New York City, as authors Seth Kamil and Eric Wakin peel back the layers of New York's most popular neighborhoods. Here in one volume are their award-winning tours. In their "Immigrant New York" tour you can take a walk on the Bowery, the most infamous street in the city and learn how the city's finest roadway became America's "Skid Row." In "Before Stonewall" you'll discover the many facets of gay and lesbian history and trace the development of Greenwich Village as a cultural mecca. From SoHo to the Upper West Side; from Harlem to Brooklyn there's something in The Big Onion Guide for everyone.

The authors show how it was nothing new when Mayor Giuliani was unable to ban sales by immigrant mobile food vendors. The Guide takes us to the place where the Dutch tried to ban street side sales by Scottish peddlers 350 years ago, and where the great Fiorello La Guardia banned most of the pushcart salesmen at midcentury.

But Kamil and Wakin are not nostalgists or preservationists. Instead, their historical tours connect today's city with the snapshots of yesterday, blending social and cultural history with the evolution of different ethnic and cultural communities.

The Big Onion Guide includes ten walking tours, plus a 5-borough driving tour, peppered with informative sidebars, illustrations, and photos from the collection at the New-York Historical Society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The founders of the acclaimed Big Onion Walking Tours outline 10 historical walks in their home borough, from America's first pencil factory to Bedford-Stuyvesant's beautiful row houses to Coney Island.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

,

“One could scarcely find a more informative and engaging guide than this book, distilled from the award-winning tours developed over the last decade by Big Onion Walking Tours...It is a delight, deeply knowledgeable, presented with wit and style. Would that more historians engage the public so well.”
-New York History,Spring 2002

New York History
One could scarcely find a more informative and engaging guide than this book, distilled from the award-winning tours developed over the last decade by Big Onion Walking Tours.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814747483
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 390
  • Sales rank: 943,587
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Seth Kamil and Eric Wakin are, respectively, the president and chief tour guide of the largest and best-known walking tour company in the United States-Big Onion Walking Tours. They are also the authors of The Big Onion Guide to New York City: Ten Historic Tours, also published by NYU Press. Both live in Brooklyn, NY.

Eric Wakin is Chief Tour Guide. Their company conducts more than 1,200 tours of New York City for more than 35,000 people each year. They are both in the Ph.D. program in history at Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Introduction 1
1 Wall Street: The Architecture of Capitalism 7
2 The Lower East Side: Immigrant New York 39
3 Greenwich Village: A Gay and Lesbian Mecca 81
4 Four Squares: Union Square, Stuyvesant Square, Gramercy Park, and Madison Square 111
5 The Brooklyn Bridge: A Walk from Brooklyn Heights to City Hall 151
6 Central Park: New York City's Largest Work of Art 181
7 The Upper East Side: Manhattan's "Gold Coast" 207
8 Historic Harlem: African American Capital of the Twentieth Century 249
9 Green-Wood Cemetery: A Garden Cemetery Revisited 279
10 The Other Boroughs: A Driving Tour 317
Sources 371
About the Contributors 377
Index 381
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