Tuesday, August 28, 2007
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
Through the Children’s Gate By Adam Gopnik Quercus £17.99, Knopf $25
There is the New York that every tourist knows – Fifth Avenue, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge – and then there is the belief system that every resident of the city instinctively signs up to.
If you imagine this New York as a psychological grid, then the big avenues stand for the positive ideas the city revolves around: meritocracy and multiculturalism, ambition and intelligence.
The smaller cross-streets represent the neuroses that have now been exported to the rest of the world’s big cities, from parental obsessiveness to our fixation with home redesign and gentrification.
I am a huge admirer of Gopnik's writing and so wanted to buy this book last week while in NYC but alas already I had bought eight books and had no room or weight allowance left! However we are going back at Christmas and by then it will be available in paperback so I'll get it then.
Although I have to say the hardback is a beautiful object so I may still buy that edition.
I recommend reading the full review by Rahul Jacob that appeared in the Financial Times on Saturday. Jacob is the FT's travel editor.