A quirky memoir by a longtime resident with bits
of history and travel lore thrown in…
By Clifford Browder
A quirky memoir by a longtime resident, with glances at his city’s history and bits of travel lore all rolled into one.
Readers will learn how the Statue of Liberty almost didn’t happen; how the author found the sacred in the city, and learned the Charleston on You Tube; how mobsters shared the corridors of the legendary Waldorf Astoria hotel with the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor and an ex-president; and how the author had an affair with a Broadway chorus boy (if the Cardinal Archbishop of New York could do it, so could he).
Plus Mohawks, hustlers, scams and cons, wigmakers and crematory managers, racoons in Central Park, Trump Tower, cholera, and the Beatles. A fun book, but with some serious moments.
New York is the most exciting city in the world. The author wants to share it with everyone.
Though born and raised in the Midwest, I am a longtime New Yorker and over the years have seen many changes. I reside high above the Magnolia Bakery of Sex and the City fame in Greenwich Village. When I first came here in 1953 to do graduate work in French at Columbia University, I had to get used to the city’s bigness, noise, and bustle, its pace and its attractions. But get used to them I did, to the point where I needed them, craved them, and celebrated them. For me, New York is the most exciting city in the world. It’s special, it’s unique. I have even expressed this in an equation:
intensity + diversity = creativity = New York
The intensity of New York is experienced immediately by anyone coming to the city, and the city’s diversity will leap out at you wherever you may go. Which makes the city incredibly creative; things happen here: the Gay Pride movement, Occupy Wall Street, opera and ballet, the Empire State Building, 9/11, and yes, the Donald and his Tower. Not everything here is admirable, but in spite of all its faults, I love this city; I couldn’t do without it. A sign that appeared at the entrance to the Staten Island ferry once asked, New York: Is There Anywhere Else?
Not everyone would agree. We New Yorkers are a very special breed, tough and savvy. We challenge, we complain. And we know that New York is not for everyone, nor should it be. For quiet, for peace of mind and the illusion of stabili- ty, go elsewhere. Here are flux and change, the perennial strife of old vs. new, the turmoil and fervor of nine million strivers. We New Yorkers are great doers; we savor the charm of the old and often want to preserve it, but at the same time we forge ahead, we create, we do.
In this book I want to share with others what it is to be a New Yorker, who we are, how we live, what we do, our past and present glories and horrors. Ask twenty New Yorkers about these things, and you’ll get twenty answers. What I’m sharing here is my New York. The chapters derive from posts for my blog, “No Place for Normal: New York,” which is about any- thing and everything New York, past and present. This is the city I love; I hope you’ll love it, too. Or hate it, if you must. The main thing is to know it; it’s unique.
“Tourists and those new to the city will most appreciate this light, entertaining look at the Big Apple.” — Publishers Weekly
“New York is the most exciting city in the world. It’s unique and reading ‘New Yorkers’ is the next best thing to actually living there!” — Midwest Book Review
“This immersive exploration of the city and its denizens etches a vivid portrait of what it is to be a New Yorker.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Thousands of books have been written about New York City, but this one stands out.” — Blue Ink Review
“A tantalizing vision of an exciting city overflowing with diversity in all respects.” –– Lisa Brown-Gilbert, Bestsellersworld
Clifford Browder is a writer and retired freelance editor living in New York City, which he celebrates in his blog, “No Place for Normal: New York.” His published works include two biographies; three New York City memoirs; a critical study of the French Surrealist poet André Breton; and four historical novels set in nineteenth-century New York. His poetry has appeared both online and in print. He has never owned a car, a television, or a cell phone, barely tolerates his computer, and eats garlic to fend off vampires. (So far, it seems to be working.)