Still New York

Ric Burns, Author, Alan Feuer, Author, Frederick Brosen, Illustrator , paintings by Frederick Brosen. Vendome $29.95 (136p) ISBN 978-0-86565-165-4

Part travel guide, part coffee-table book, this volume presents a charming architectural record of neighborhoods up and down Manhattan. And it is indeed architecture that takes center stage, for in the dozens of precise and classically composed watercolors by Brosen reproduced here, there are almost no people at all. Brosen's obvious love for Romanesque marble, cast iron and other fancy details of bygone eras leads him to well-known sights such as the Flatiron building, the New York Public Library lions and the facade of the Grand Central Terminal, but he is equally drawn to humbler corners and alleys. He makes a quietly spectacular vista of a narrow, winding Chinatown street and revels in the severe, early morning beauty of a row of shuttered shops near the corner of Broome and the Bowery. An introduction by documentary filmmaker Burns offers overwrought praise for Brosen, while the essays by New York Times staff writer Feuer are full of salty stories of characters from the neighborhoods depicted. But the pictures themselves, and their deft little scene-setting captions, are the main attraction. No doubt this book will be enjoyed by New Yorkers who take a proprietary pleasure in the history and architecture of their city, but it also makes an excellent tour book for travelers seeking a deeper appreciation of the structures that sustain the city's bustling life. (Oct. 17)

Reviewed on: 09/12/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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