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Upper West Side story : a history and guide

Author: Peter Salwen
Publisher: New York : Abbeville Press, 1989.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"As any resident, restaurateur, or realtor will tell you, New York's Upper West Side--that swath of Manhattan between Central Park and the Hudson River, from roughly Columbus Circle to Columbia University--is the place for fashionable dining, dwelling, and dressing up. But the Young Urban Professionals now discovering the area (and many oldtimers, too) might be surprised to learn that other colonists had preceded  Read more...
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Genre/Form: New York- Upper West Side
Guidebooks
History
Tours
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Salwen, Peter.
Upper West Side story.
New York : Abbeville Press, 1989
(OCoLC)597942652
Online version:
Salwen, Peter.
Upper West Side story.
New York : Abbeville Press, 1989
(OCoLC)609009222
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter Salwen
ISBN: 0896598942 9780896598942
OCLC Number: 18815559
Description: 375 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Part I: Bloomingdale. The sweet rural valley ; Battle for Bloomingdale ; "Woodman, spare that tree!" ; Interlude: "It is a burning shame!" ; "A higher order of domestic architecture" --
Part II: The West End. The city between the parks ; Interlude: When all New York was on wheels ; A palace for the muses ; A pride of players ; Interlude: "What a gay place Columbus Circle used to be!" ; Society's playhouse ; Parnassus on the Hudson ; L'affaire Gorky and other literary excitements ; A bouquet of rogues --
Part III: The Upper West Side. "No part of the West Side is really smart" ; Interlude: Moses and the Promised Land ; The new Gilded Age --
Annex A: Who was where. Addresses (mostly former) of notable Westsiders --
Annex B: West Side walking tours. Riverside Drive: "the most beautiful avenue in the world" ; Central Park West: Manhattan's other skyline ; Along the Bloomingdale Road: Broadway, Columbus Circle to Columbia University.
Responsibility: Peter Salwen.

Abstract:

"As any resident, restaurateur, or realtor will tell you, New York's Upper West Side--that swath of Manhattan between Central Park and the Hudson River, from roughly Columbus Circle to Columbia University--is the place for fashionable dining, dwelling, and dressing up. But the Young Urban Professionals now discovering the area (and many oldtimers, too) might be surprised to learn that other colonists had preceded them by two or three hundred years--Dutch farmers and English gentry with names like Theunis Idens van Huys, Hendrick Hendrickon Bosch, Charles Ward Apthorpe, and Oliver De Lancey. The names of many later residents are more familiar: Edgar Allan Poe, William Tecumseh Sherman, Lillian Russell, Diamond Jim Brady, Florenz Ziegfeld, Arturo Toscanini, Fanny Brice, William Randolph Hearst, Theodore Dreiser, Lewis Mumford, Humphrey Bogart (he was a child there), Lauren Bacall (so was she), Gertrude Stein, Mae West, Leonard Bernstein, John Lennon. Quite a neighborhood. And Peter Salwen’s Upper West Side Story is quite a book: an engaging, often hilarious history of this fabulous city-within-a-city. It is a treasury of colorful biographies--of farmers, tycoons, thieves, and artists. It is an architectural grand tour--of the Dakota, the Ansonia, Lincoln Center, and the romantic residential skyscrapers of Central Park West. It is a compendium of Manhattan lore and delightful as well as occasionally horrifying trivia, enough to turn even a casual browser into the Compleat Upper West Sider. The story of this dynamic neighborhood begins with the colonial period, when merchant princes commanded royal views of the Hudson--until the approach of Washington’s troops drove them from their mansions--and continues through the bucolic nineteenth century, when the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum at 116th and Broadway (site of today's Columbia University) was the Upper West Side's prime tourist attraction. By the turn of the [twentieth] century, the fashionable “West End," as the neighborhood was then known, boasted extravagant mansions and private homes, grand parks and equestrian boulevards, and its own unique theatrical and night life. Author Peter Salwen chronicles those high-living years, and the half century of inexorable decline that followed--with its poverty and often sensational crime--and brings us up-to-date with a lively account of [the 1980s'] galloping renaissance. [This book] is living history--an unfinished story--generously illustrated with vintage engravings and photos of the buildings and people great and humble (those still with us and those that are no more). Also included are special walking tours to suit all levels of ambition and energy, and a who’s who of famous and infamous residents and where they lived."--Dust jacket.

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