- Expected 16 Mar 2021
- 429,00 Kč
A lively, immersive history by an award-winning urbanist of New York City’s transformation, and the lessons it offers for the city’s future.
Dangerous, filthy, and falling apart, garbage piled on its streets and entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble; New York’s terrifying, if liberating, state of nature in 1978 also made it the capital of American culture. Over the next thirty-plus years, though, it became a different place—kinder and meaner, richer and poorer, more like America and less like what it had always been.
New York, New York, New York, Thomas Dyja’s sweeping account of this metamorphosis, shows it wasn’t the work of a single policy, mastermind, or economic theory, nor was it a morality tale of gentrification or crime. Instead, three New Yorks evolved in turn. After brutal retrenchment came the dazzling Koch Renaissance and the Dinkins years that left the city’s liberal traditions battered but laid the foundation for the safe streets and dotcom excess of Giuliani’s Reformation in the ‘90s. Then the planes hit on 9/11. The shaky city handed itself over to Bloomberg who merged City Hall into his personal empire, launching its Reimagination. From Hip Hop crews to Wall Street bankers, D.V. to Jay-Z, Dyja weaves New Yorkers famous, infamous, and unknown—Yuppies, hipsters, tech nerds, and artists; community organizers and the immigrants who made this a truly global place—into a narrative of a city creating ways of life that would ultimately change cities everywhere.
With great success, though, came grave mistakes. The urbanism that reclaimed public space became a means of control, the police who made streets safe became an occupying army, technology went from a means to the end. Now, as anxiety fills New Yorker’s hearts and empties its public spaces, it’s clear that what brought the city back—proximity, density, and human exchange—are what sent Covid-19 burning through its streets, and the price of order has come due. A fourth evolution is happening and we must understand that the greatest challenge ahead is the one New York failed in the first three: The cures must not be worse than the disease.
Exhaustively researched, passionately told, New York, New York, New York is a colorful, inspiring guide to not just rebuilding but reimagining a great city.
Modern Gotham has recovered its glitter, but lost its moral compass and its soul, according to this kaleidoscopic history. Novelist and urban historian Dyja (The Third Coast) surveys New York's 35 years from near bankruptcy in the 1970s through budget cuts and fiscal stabilization under mayor Ed Koch, plummeting crime and rising racial tensions under Rudolph Giuliani, and renewed wealth and visionary swagger under Michael Bloomberg. In each municipal advance, Dyja locates a loss: intensified policing brought harassment of minority communities, big-box stores bankrupted neighborhood shops, Wall Street booms and burgeoning artists' lofts sparked gentrification that drove out the working class, and Disneyfied redevelopment extinguished Times Square's squalid glamour. Dyja's omnivorous curiosity takes in city bureaucracies, investment bankers, neighborhood activists, literati lunching at Elaine's, hip-hop impresarios, and downtown artists. Dyja shapes it all into a cogent narrative studded with pithy insights and vivid profiles. ("Damp and vampiric, Giuliani was miserable on the stump , inexperienced and off-putting with the tentative humanity of a priest in street clothes.") Dyja's exhaustive knowledge of the era, dazzling prose, and all-embracing sympathy and scorn when it's merited make for a stimulating study of New York's never-ending upheaval.