cover image A New York Memoir

A New York Memoir

Richard Goodman, Transaction, $29.95 (143p) ISBN 9781412814928

Like many, Goodman (French Dirt) moved to New York City in search of a home, a place in which he might feel comfortable and thrive. He found it "against the backdrop of a massive city of unmatchable energy and sheer, brute authority." In this tribute to Goodman's home of three decades, he shares extraordinary events and everyday occurrences, like the theft of his prized bike, a "Raleigh three-speed, English, heavy, black, and one of the most remarkable machines I've ever had. It was no effete, high-strung, ten-speed from Italy or Japan." He mourns the devastation of 9/11, but also celebrates the connections he's made, particularly to Ann Silberling, a Greenwich Village neighbor, one of those cosmopolitan women who "give the place a consistent dignity by their dress, decorum, and demeanor. They demand respect, and by their savvy, grace, and deep understanding of how to encounter New York City, they get it." Sections set outside New York, such as his description of restaurant work in Cambridge, Mass. or a year spent in France, fit awkwardly, a few misses in a thin volume of genuine hits. (Aug.)