Is the evolving waterfront the key to New York City’s destiny? Lopate thinks so, and he could convince readers with his...

WATERFRONT

A JOURNEY AROUND MANHATTAN

A reflective walk along Manhattan’s shoreline—with attendant digressions historical, literary, architectural, practical, and subjective.

Though he writes like cream pouring from a jug, essayist Lopate’s (Getting Personal, p. 1210, etc.) thoughts act on the reader like a vigorous head massage: this will not be a “lighthearted book about wandering the watery perimeter of Manhattan,” but one written out of “a more reserved, critical perspective of a lifetime’s accumulated uncertainties.” Yet as this native New Yorker ponders the role of waterfront development, following the decline of its maritime and industrial functions, he is richly entertaining. Now that waterway use is not such an urgent need, Lopate argues, it’s important to consider a host of variables other than those associated purely with making a buck. So he considers the shoreline in all its glory: geologic, cultural, imagined. Lopate notes the role of schist, marble, and gneiss, animal skins and oysters, the tension between public space and private enclaves “as hidden from public view as the Imperial Palace in Peking,” the visual joy of the Starrett-Lehigh Building’s “flapjack stack of fenestration,” and the grudging, un-neighborly, suburban Chelsea Piers. Walking allows him to “sample other class realities: sipping the life above one’s station as well as below it,” to measure the good and bad of Robert Moses, and to take an honest appraisal of the risky terrain underpinning public housing projects. His sensible proposals about how to improve public use of the waterfront range from the specific suggestion that High Bridge be opened to pedestrians to the general declaration that the shoreline “must regain a sense of purpose, and not just become a theatrical backdrop.”

Is the evolving waterfront the key to New York City’s destiny? Lopate thinks so, and he could convince readers with his intimate and urbane tour. (35 b&w photos, 2 maps)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-609-60505-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2003

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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