As a child growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line, ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood. Decades later, his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever. Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs--an astonishing 6,000 miles. His journey took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and all walks of life. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan. Truly unforgettable, The New York Nobody Knows will forever change how you view the world's greatest city.
William B. Helmreich is professor of sociology at the City University Graduate Center (CUNY) and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York.
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Maps xvi 1 Introduction 1 2 Selling Hot Dogs, Planting Flowers, and Living the Dream: The Newcomers 21 3 Diners, Love, Exorcisms, and the Yankees: New York's Communities 71 4 Dancing the Bachata, Playing Bocci, and the Chinese Scholars' Garden: Enjoying the City 137 5 Tar Beaches, Sidewalk Carvings, Irish Freedom Fighters, and Superman: Spaces in the Big Apple 169 Illustrations following page 215 6 From Washington Heights to Hudson Heights, from Soho to Soha: Gentrification 231 7 Assimilation, Identity, or Something Else: The Future of Ethnic New York 296 8 Conclusions 346 Notes 369 Neighborhood Glossary 395 Bibliography 401 Index 437