Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Booknote: Discovering Vintage New York

Mitch Broder, Discovering Vintage New York: a Guide to the City's Timeless Shops, Bars, Delis, & More. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780762784547.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: travel, vintage, guide books
Format: paperback
Source: My local public library

I recently did a little armchair travel with this book. In essence, this is a travel guide to various quirky and unique places in New York City. Some of them continue to thrive; a few may be in danger of extinction, but they all persevere in a time when it seems chain stores and tourist traps are taking over.

You get some of the usual landmarks. I mean, every book and television show about New York City has to do a mandatory stop at Katz's Deli, and this one does so as well with the mandatory mention of that infamous movie scene. But there are also many other restaurants, bars, shops, other delis (which are probably as good or better than Katz's, but with less hype), nightspots, cafes, and others such as bookstores and record shops. There really is a lot to discover and explore in New York City if you are willing to go a bit out of the way.

So why this book? Let's have the author tell us:

"When businesses are around a long time, you never know how much longer they've got. Rents go up. Owners step down. Buildings get sold (ask the Primeburger). Haunts that you think of as permanent can vaporize in a flash" (ix). 

The places can vary from affordable to places I know I would never make enough to even walk by expensive. Still, it is an interesting book with short entries and easy to read. Each entry features a photograph, contact information (address, phone number, website URL), and then the article on the place. For readers' convenience, the book also features three appendices that list the places by category, neighborhood, and year of origin to help in planning trips. It is a small sized books, so you can carry it as you travel. It is definitely a good book for readers who enjoy travel books and books about vintage things. It's a good selection for public libraries as well.

4 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

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