If you only own one book on New York history, it should be this one. I’ve been interested in Taschen’s travel and photography books for a while now, especially its lust-worthy collection of New York literature, which helps to maintain my obsession with the city – from history, places to eat, shop and stay and interiors – taking me further down the rabbit hole.
Its mini book, New York: Portrait of a City, is a beautiful handbag-sized guide that tells the story of New York in an inspiring way – let’s call it a crash course in New York history, if you will. It starts off with five short, easily digestible sections in New York’s history – each no longer than a page – followed by a comprehensive collection of 150 stunning photographs documenting New York’s evolution and I’ve been lusting after it ever since I wrote about this book. I think you’ll agree, the two would go together quite nicely…
“From the building of the Brooklyn Bridge to immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, the slums of the Lower East Side to magnificent art deco skyscrapers, New York’s remarkable rise, reinvention, and growth is not just the tale of a city, but the story of a nation. This beautiful book lays out the streets, sidewalks, culture, and crowds of the greatest city in the world—in all the greatness of its extremes, contradictions, energy, and attitude. With vistas of Central Park alongside Coney Island and the sleaze of Times Square, this city portrait champions the complexity and chaos of New York—its architecture, culture, fashion, and ethnic diversity. More than just a tribute to the metropolis and its civic, social, and photographic heritage, New York: Portrait of a City also pays homage to the indomitable spirit of those who call themselves New Yorkers: full of hope and strength, resolute in their determination to succeed among its glass and granite towers…”
So, if you know anyone bitten by the New York travel bug, and in need of a history crash course, the mini version of Taschen’s New York: Portrait of a City is the way to go. You can also have a look at all the other Taschen books related to New York on their website.