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Myriad factors, including gentrification, immigration, sense of belonging, public spaces and crime rate, play a role in how these communities form and disperse, sometimes within a single day—for example, the communities of workers who commute into Manhattan from outer boroughs or the communities of children who come together to learn from educators and each other.

Helmreich argues that the dynamics behind these constantly evolving human choreographies make New York a city unparalleled in its historical and contemporary impact. This book is pure joy; even the most dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker will learn something new about this vibrant city. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent!

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The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6000 Miles in the City

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Chapter 1 [PDF]. Professor Helmreich, a sociologist at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, invites readers on a romp through largely unexplored neighborhoods that is as entertaining as it is enlightening. The result: a magisterial work that examines how people live in this large, complex, and evolving urban landscape.

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Highly recommended to sociologists, urban demographers, New York historians, and all walking enthusiasts in the city. This book is pure joy; even the most dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker will learn something new about this vibrant city. To truly know New York, you may have to walk 6, Or, you can just read Helmreich's account of visiting every inch of the city.

For me, the best bits are Helmreich's detailed descriptions of chance encounters. He gives a powerful depiction of the numbing dullness of some people's jobs, from the security guard in the museum to the man waving a flag outside a garage.


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  4. These are described with tenderness and not a little wry humour. The book is not a guidebook, but a very accessible sociological study, full of color and anecdote.

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    His method is, in some ways, a throw back to a much earlier form of social criticism, when walking was curiously in vogue for the self-styled intellectuals and elites of 19th century Europe. And it's one that anyone can learn from. The book is a page sociological examination of New York through the eyes of a keen observer. It is segmented into parts on the city's ethnic composition, gentrification, environs and what the future may hold for America's melting pot.

    And yes, there's a section on what makes New York fun, too. The New York Nobody Knows is gratifyingly deep with analysis on the city's history and demographics while also reading like a survival guide at times. It's refreshing to read a book that celebrates so unreservedly the ethnic diversity of a city and entirely fitting that it should be about a metropolis that has always been defined by its cosmopolitan culture. His observations--all touching on various aspects of the multifarious lives of the estimated 8.

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    Helmreich's engaging account of how he logged 6, miles on foot through all the boroughs of NYC, accumulating many insights into the eternal, multi-ethnic metropolis. Sociologist Helmreich presents the city as a richly diverse place whose residents are eager to share insights and opinions. At its best, the volume reflects the author's willingness to listen, to observe, and to be amazed.