The spectacle and subject is the city; its witnesses come from all its walks of life, celebrated and anonymous. Here, side by side, are the observations of an African diplomat and a drug addict, of the Director of Collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the owner of the Basin Street East and the Embers Club. Writers and psychiatrists, policemen and teachers and social workers, secretaries and executives, homosexuals and madams have their say. The song of the city is dissonant: some find it ""an endless celebration of everything"", some ""the final state of anarchy"", a gray hell, but one necessary to survival. This note of need runs through all the pieces and unites them into a picture of a unique life environment, individually experienced though it may be. The book is divided into sections--""The Business of Art"", ""The Scrutable Chinese"", in which a longer piece by the author takes up a particular element of city life, but the speeches of the witnesses do not necessarily pertain, carrying throughout a response to the totality. The photographs, unseen except for a sample, promise to be superior--and some 200 run throughout the text. A must for New York narcissists.