Blockology

There are definitely some benefits to blogging.  Robert Kaufman sent me a email asking if I’d be interested in reading his book.  If so, he’d send me a copy.  Wow.  What a treat! 

Robert Jay Kaufman, an illustrator, took off on a 52 day, 300 mile journey walking every single block below 14th street in NYC and then wrote a book called Blockology.  What a great thing to do, if you’ve got the time.  He highlights his favorite streets through out the different neighborhoods of lower Manhattan.  The West Village, The East Village, Noho, Soho, Little Italy, Nolita, The Bowery, Chinatown, Lower East Side, Battery Park City, Financial District, etc. 

Each street he has highlighted has a small map, an illustration of his view of the ongoings of the street/neighborhood and historical data.  Blockology is a very clever guide to Lower Manhattan. 

I have walked each of those blocks at one point, so I really enjoyed reading his perspective and most importantly the historical information. 

The first few pages, he writes about his connection to NYC and why he did this.   His families attachment to the city and his recollections hit me to the core. 

For me, after leaving the city for a 5 year hiatus to the suburbs and coming back to live in the city with a 9, 7 and 4 year old in tow was probably one of the most defining things we ever did as a family.   There is not a day since we have returned (it has been over 6 years) that I do not thank my lucky stars that I live in this town and am able to raise my family here.  Robert Kaufman’s memories of family gatherings at his aunts and uncles in the city remind me of our own lives today.  I quote him when he writes "New York was always at the heart of our raucous conversations concerning politics, culture, entertainment, and, of course, food."  That goes right to the core of what our family gatherings are about on a daily basis right around our kitchen table with friends of all ages. 

This is a book that will be sitting on the family room table for years to come.  So glad he sent it to me!