By Julia Wertz. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
Hardcover, 284 pages, B&W, 2017.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017!
Here is New York, as you’ve never seen it before. A perfectly charming, sidesplittingly funny, intellectually entertaining illustrated history of the blocks, the buildings, and the guts of New York City, based on Julia Wertz’s popular illustrated columns in The New Yorker and Harper’s.
In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist’s New York-the Statue of Liberty makes a brief appearance and the Empire State Building not at all-but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes “Then and Now” and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim’s Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray’s Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn’s Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island’s secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, street cleaners, and apartments both cramped and grand, Tenements, Towers & Trash is a wild ride in a time machine taxi from the present day city to bygone days of yore.