Former New York Times City section editor Constance Rosenblum talks about the local news and idiosyncratic, personal stories that appeared in the now defunct section of the Times. She gathered 50 of the section’s best pieces into More New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of The New York Times. She’s joined by two of the book’s contributors John Freeman Gill, Ben Gibberd and Saki Knafo.
The Daily Beast named More New York Stories one of its Hot Reads for the week.
A bittersweet collection from the now-defunct NYT City Section, you don’t have to be a New Yorker to get these stories.
The New York Times printed its last issue of its City Section in May 2009 after 16 years of featuring slices of life in Manhattan and the other four boroughs of New York. Like New York Stories—also edited by the section’s former editor, Rosenblum (Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx)—this commemorative collection captures the essence of New York’s distinctive urban life. Fifty intriguing and heartfelt essays are divided into four sections—”Characters,” “Places in the City’s Heart,” “Rituals, Rhythms, and Ruminations,” and “Excavating the Past.” The book includes contemporary and historical reflections on the people, places, and spirit of the city. While most of the section’s essays were written by Times staffers, this collection also features contributions from well-known authors like Edwidge Danticat, Jonathan Rosen, and Nathaniel Rich. Verdict For fans of the Big Apple and the New York Times.—Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL
For 16 years, local news and quirky, personal stories found a home in the (now defunct) City section of the Sunday New York Times. Former section editor Rosenblum gathers 50 of the best pieces of the post–September 11 era by masters of the form including Edwidge Danticat and Francine Prose. Roy Hoffman’s remembrance of a West Village buddy with cerebral palsy who was forced to confine his world to the few blocks he could navigate is complemented by Saki Knafo’s tribute to a group of aging amateur athletes who’ve been playing basketball together for 33 years and David McAninch’s appreciative travelogue of the “forgotten” cityscape of lunch counters, taverns, and cigar shops–all odes to a New York less romanticized and more real. Tragedies–like the story of giving a homeless man buried in the city’s potter’s field a proper family funeral–are squeezed like subway passengers between droller accounts of, say, the weekly lunch ritual of the New Yorker’s wry cartoonists. Organized thematically into such categories as “Characters” and “Rituals, Rhythms and Ruminations,” this rich sampling delivers. (Nov.)