Sunday, June 7, 2009

New York City in Books

I still have a couple more NYC posts in me, and today I wanted to give a quick shout out to some of the books I used as reference for my trip.

First up, the full color New York City guide 2009 from Fodor's. I didn't get this in time to actually plan my trip with it, but I did browse through while I was there. It is organized by area and provides a great overview of things to do as well as places to stay, eat and shop. There is a nice balance of information and entertainment in the writing and I especially enjoyed the "close up" features such as the one on the history of Times Square. I will definitely use this to plan my next trip!

At BEA, I grabbed a copy of Lonely Planet's New York City Encounter, which claims to allow you to discover twice the city in half the time. It is a small format, 280 pager that can be easily carried with you when you are out and about. Organized by neighborhood, it presents a few must-sees as well as some "hidden gems". No listing for The Strand bookstore, so it loses some points with me. I liked the interviews with NYC residents and would have like to have seen more of these.

Speaking of The Strand, we picked up a copy of the classic children's picture book This is New York by M. Sasek. It give a lot of fun stats about NYC then and now such as how many elevators operate in the city, how many churches there are, and how many miles of streets need to be policed (6,000 miles). I love the illustrations - especially of the squirrels in Central Park.

We also bought a copy of the recently released A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino. In it, a father and son spend a day in Manhattan starting in Grand Central Station and moving downtown visiting The New York Public Library, The Empire State Building and Union Square Park (all places I visited as well). It's both fun and full of interesting trivia.

What are your favorite NYC guidebooks or books set in NYC? I'd love some recommendations!

17 comments:

Kate said...

It's good to know that the books were of use to you. I've never been to NYC so I've never needed to look at any of those books :)

Cindy said...

Thank you for mentioning those two children books I will have to pick those up next year when I am in NYC for BEA. My son would love them.

icedtea said...

Those two kids books look great. Two NYC books that come to mind that I liked: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson and The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt.

Amber said...

My favorite book set in New York is Suspension by Robert Westfield.
xx
Amber

Staci said...

Those children books looks pretty awesome!! I need to get to NYC one of these days!!

Eli said...

I can't wait to go back to NYC...

Elizabeth said...

How could they not list the Strand?!

I must say though, as fun as the Strand can be to browse in, I know from a then-boyfriend that it is not so much fun to work in. No air conditioning!!!

However, he did like to make use of the $1 price sticker machine for books he wanted to buy himself.

Doret said...

The Not For Tourist (NFT) travels guides are pretty cool

Keri Mikulski said...

Love NYC. I've never used a guidebook. I just show up and walk around in awe or meet someone.. But, I should and thanks for the recommendations! :)

Eddie said...

Strand has been happily air-conditioned for over 3 years. Browse comfortably summer or winter.

bermudaonion said...

We thought the Fodor's book was great, and a little overwhelming.

cupcakewitch said...

The Not For Tourists guide books are pretty cool!

Lenore said...

Thanks for the recommendations!

Joanne said...

We used the Fodor's to plan our NY trip ahead of time. But we also used a lot of the publications we picked up at different tourist bureaus and hotels on our way there. Reading the pamphlets and such was really handy because they were very precise and up-to-date for the season.

Emily said...

okay, have never been to NYC, but have you ever check out the Time Out city guides? my husband and i love them.

how about Storied City: A Children's Book Walking-Tour Guide to New York City by Leonard Marcus. um...okay, have never read it, but it's on my list for when i finally make it to NYC! Books set in NYC that I like? hmmm...only ones coming to mind at the moment are Kiki Strike and The Young Unicorns, but i'm sure there's others.

have not read the Sasek NYC book, but just got his Paris book and i love it!!! I'm sure the whole series is great.

Lenore said...

Emily - Leonard Marcus is awesome - why did I not know about that book? Wishlisted!!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

That Fodor's guide is great; accurate for everything I've tested during many trips to NY.

I'm so glad you listed the two children's books. My kids miss the city and haven't been back since we moved further east 2 years ago. I'll pick these up for their bookcases.