Inside The Apple
by Michelle & James Nevius
So, I was reading the last few chapters of this book on the train last week, reminiscing about the great time I had in New York back in January, and I had a thought… I’ll come back to the book in a moment, but first let me introduce you to what I’m dubbing “New York week” on the blog this week! It’s an enormous city, with an absolutely fascinating history, and I learnt that on this Sunday, July 26th, it’ll be 227 years to the day since New York City officially became the 11th US State. So in celebration, I’m turning my blog New York themed for the week, to share some of my favourite things and places and foods and what not from my visit to one of the world’s greatest cities :) And the best way to start this week off, I think, is with this brilliant book.
Reading Inside The Apple (which I bought at the absolutely amazing NYC book shop Idlewild Books) kept bringing me back to a quote I remember vividly from reading Stephen Brook’s New York Days, New York Nights:
“New York is no place for antiquarians. There are no ruins, and never will be, in New York City. They would be too costly. New York is exactingly different because it insists you live precisely in the present, with all your capacities stretched to the limit. It is a good city to leave, for in your absence it will continue to live and breathe and grow, and, in its altered state, like a body in which most of the cells have been replaced, it will be ready for you when, as you surely will, you return.”
The book is both a history lesson and street guide of the city; Michelle and James take you through the history of the city, in chronological order, but with a twist – they relate the historical events that shaped the city back to landmarks of the city. Some are still there, but most are gone – as Stephen Brook said, there are no ruins and never will be!
I learnt SO much from reading this book about the city, and it was so cool to be reading the little chapters and recognising street names that I walked down and places that I saw! There was a lot I didn’t realise, like how the Empire State Building was originally meant to have zeppelins (like blimps) anchored to the top of it, like a sky scrapper blimp airport, and that the stoops that allow entrance up and into most residences were actually to hide the servants’ entrances underneath. The book also ends with some great walking tours you can take yourself on through the city, to see some of the things you’ve just read about.
If you live in NYC and want to know a little more about your city (I really wish there was something like this written about Melbourne!!), if you’ve visited like me and want to know a little more about the cool stuff you saw, if you’ve never been before but are still kinda interested in the history of this great city, pick up a copy here and enjoy!