This is a book about New York City, as seen through the eyes and sensibilities of Danish architect and artist Mikael Olrik. The combination of watercolor, photograph and text offers the reader an original, multi-dimensional experience of a city so well known and yet still to be discovered, still mystifying. Trained to identify both what is important and what is distinctive, Olrik is gifted, with an intuitive sense of what to capture, what is abiding and totemic about a particular place. While one might anticipate the pastoral Central Park scenes and such landmarks as the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge, the images of Soho tenements and Williamsburg street scenes serve as stark reminders that New York may very well be the most complex city in the world, a city Mikael Olrik respectfully refers to as a living organism. After many extended stays there, he is comfortable in New York; always ready to process its changes and embrace its surprises, but never complacent or jaded.'Walks in My New York" is just that - a strolling, personal tour of New York City and parts of four of its boroughs.
Thoughtful guide, Mikael invites you to join him. Positioning you at each stop, he gives you the broad view of an architect, the specificity of an artist, the straight-forwardness of a photographer, and the companionable text of a diarist. You are drawn in and made complicit in the experience. As a bonus, small maps accompany each entry and act as a sort of 'GPS' in print. Mikael Olrik sees to it that you have everything you need to explore a great and restless city abounding in sights and stories. Everything, that is, except a pair of sturdy walking shoes!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It often takes an “outsider” to fully appreciate the essence of a foreign country, its culture, its people and its panoply of sights. This is especially true when it comes to sizing up the unique, magnificent and variegated metropolis that is New York! A place carved indelible in almost everyone’s consciousness, whether based on direct or indirect familiarity via movies and TV--unforgettable scenes, filled with skyscrapers, historic, old village charm, splendid city parks and bridges, the elegance of Park and Fifth Avenues with its fashionable stores and mansions, the myriad of yellow cabs and busses in the midst of heavy traffic—not to mention the boisterous Times Square cacophony of Broadway, with its majestic neon lights and its thousands of people moving about. In this book of amazingly riveting watercolors, rendered with an artist’s eye for just the right color tone for their atmospheric impact along with the imbued and the skill of an architect’s structural know-how, his many photographic snapshots and lovingly rendered textual accompaniments leaves even a New Yorker like myself transfixed with the wonder of all that makes up the story of the Big Apple, its various neighborhood (including Brooklyn, the Bronx and Harlem, among them) its varied populace, and its exciting impact. I can think of no better guide for the novice visitor-- as well as for us of interest to older-timers in NY giving us an infusion of pride and if not also some new insights. The author, a Dane, is an accomplished architect/artist who is a Dane obviously feel deeply in love with our city and where has spent a good bit of time now and then. He is to be commended for this pearl of a book that so wonderfully renders the soul of our city--especially with his splendid artistic sensibility. A winner!