Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City

Julia Wertz. Black Dog & Leventhal, $29.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-50121-7
New York City is a land of architectural ghosts, and Wertz (Drinking at the Movies) is a skilled and perceptive documentarian who here combines two of her talents—cartooning and urban exploration—to create a dense, informative package filled with her audacious personality. Wertz’s method for uncovering these ghosts involves a lot of wandering, sharp eyes, and tons of research that she translates into meticulous drawings of structures throughout the city, often in a “then-and-now” format to document changes not only to the structure itself, but to the culture of the city. Wertz tackles the pneumatic tube system with the same gusto as she does the life of serial arsonist Lizzie Halliday. In presenting the life of the city, Wertz captures change as the most important constant trait of New York City, with a vivid eclecticism that makes this an indispensable guidebook to places lost and found. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 10/03/2017
Ebook - 284 pages - 978-0-316-50122-4
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