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Apple of My Eye

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  292 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A walking tour of New York from Battery Park to Harlem celebrates the architecture and history, landmarks, people, and pastimes of the Western world's most remarkable city.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Moyer Bell (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 512)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is the most lighthearted, informal guide book you'll ever read. Back in 1976, Hanff was commissioned to write the text for what was to be a book of photographs and tourist information for Manhattan. I have no idea what happened to the pictorial part of the equation. This book has no photos. But the text is delightful. Over a period of two months, the author and her friend Patsy went out once or twice a week to places of interest to both tourists and locals. Hanff would then write up a few p...more
Jana
Thank you Chris for this gem of a book!

Oh to tour New York City in the 1970s with the wonderful, witty Helene Hanff and her friend Patsy. The next best thing is to read this book.
You will visit Ellis Island & Staten Island. You'll see Roosevelt Island via the brand new cable car. View the city from the top of the World Trade Center (funny because they are scared of heights, but oh so sad because of what will happen in 25 years). Tour Harlem on the penny bus. Explore the Cathedral of St Joh...more
Maija
Just happened to see this book featured on a shelf at the library in the week before going to NYC for a trip & it was the perfect book for reading on the plane. Helene was very witty and funny in describing her adventures of visiting all the best tourist sites in NYC with her friend Patsy as part of her research for a travel guide. Surprisingly, this book is as old as I am, but most of the sites she visited are still top tourist destinations. She also mixes in bits of history and politics of...more
Jan C
Jul 11, 2009 Jan C rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my mother and others who like to walk in NYC
Shelves: ny
I really liked this walking tour of New York City. I'm not from New York. I remember we all went there in the early '60s. My father had a business trip and my brother and I were out of school. My mother really wanted to go see the Cloisters. My brother not so much. And I just got dragged along. It should be noted that no one bothered to check on whether they were open that day. They weren't. My brother left my mother and me standing by the side of the road and I guess went back to the hotel on h...more
Skyring
I read this a long time ago, some time after reading 84 Charing Cross Road and wanting more.

New York was to me, a teenager in Brisbane, a fantastical and exotic place. Still is, I guess.

It was my third visit, not counting the times I never left JFK, just on a year ago now. We took the Staten Island Ferry, watched a Mets game - they were trounced by the Reds - had dinner at Mickey Mantle's, strolled through Central Park at dusk, enjoying the magic of the fireflies zipping under the trees, staid a...more
Elsje
Deze schrijfster ken je misschien van '84 Charing Cross Road', haar bekendste boek, dat verfilmd is met Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins en Judi Dench?

Het verhaal
De ik-persoon (de schrijfster zelf) wordt gevraagd om een teksten te schrijven over New York, bij foto's die haar nog aangeleverd zullen worden. Zij is benaderd omdat ze al een half leven in de Big Apple woont. Het boek moet een soort reisgids met mooie plaatjes worden. Om de 'facts and figures' op een rijtje te krijgen koopt ze een paar...more
Joan
This is really a love letter to Manhattan. In 1976, Hanff got a job to write copy for a book of photographs of New York City. Beginning her research, she made a list of "Must See" sights, and realized that she'd missed most of them! She'd never been to the Statue of Liberty, or Wall Street, or the Stock Exchange. She'd been to the Cloisters once, many years before, never toured Rockefeller Center, never been to Grant's Tomb. So she enlisted her friend, Patsy Gibbs, and the two of them spent two...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Helene Hanff is such a quintessential New Yorker that when the BBC wanted someone to present a little five minute piece on New York once a month on the Woman's Hour they looked to Helene. In the minds of the British, Helene IS New York. Plus, they have taken her to heart ever since 84, Charing Cross Road. So logically, when a publishing house in New York was looking for someone to write captions to accompany pictures taken of New York they too looked to Helene to provide her sharp wit to their v...more
Norain
This was too bland in comparison to 84, Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. When I reached for this book I was eager for Helene Hanff's wit and sarcasm but was disappointed to find it full with her bragging about her knowledge of the history of New York (maybe she did not intend it to be so but that was how I read and saw it and I did not like it even a bit). It was a thin book but I struggled through it and when that happened it usually was not a good sign.

P.s: I would like...more
Pequete
I was a bit disappointed after the first pages, when I realised this book was supposed to be a sort of tourist guide for people visiting New York, because I've never been there and I was not planning to in the near future. Furthermore, the book was written in the seventies, so it should be very outdated... But it turned out to be a fairly good read and not a tourist guide at all (although it could be used liked that if one should want to). The book describes a series of visits to different areas...more
Heather
84, Charing Cross Road is my favorite book of 2014. This is the 3rd book of Hanff's I read this year. Unfortunately, the other two just haven't been as good. In this one, she, along with her friend Patsy, provide the readers a tour of New York City. It still contains her humor, but I think I didn't enjoy it as much because I am not familiar with New York. I sense New Yorkers would appreciate it more and find it even more humorous than I did. Furthermore, I believe it would be a great choice for...more
Thomas Strömquist
"I think I had a constant smile on my face reading this little gem. The fact that this book about New York is outdated now does not really matter, since it is no more a tourist guide than "84 Charing Cross road" is a book ordering instruction manual."
David Crosby
This was an interesting read. It was great to back in dear Helene's company, and her relaxed style of writing still doesn't disappoint. This fast trip around New York of the seventies was a struggle at times though, the detailed location/directions descriptions meant nothing to me having never visited New York. But this was more than made up for by the obvious love for the city she lived in. She makes a very good point too that nobody takes the time to explore their local area properly, where yo...more
Nycdreamin
A very basic, beginners guide to some of the more tourist-friendly things to see and do while in New York City. The book contains some great photos but the text accompanying them is a little inane - much of it centering on the discussions of the author and her friend "Patsy" as they make their way around the city to view such places as Confucius Plaza, the Statue of Liberty, the Met, the Cloisters, the Financial District, the World Trade Center, Faunces Tavern, the Frick Museum, Grant's Tomb, Ro...more
Betty
Yet another delightful journey with Helene, this time through the streets of New York. Helene takes you along with her as she visits famous and not-so-famous New York landmarks. It is typical of Helene to just sort of drag you along with her, experiencing the sights through her eyes, but mostly through her aches, pains, thirsts, hungers, fears, etc. You're her best friend on this journey...for better or worse.

Helene introduces you to her own friends. We tour New York together, Helene, Patsy and...more
Jessica
In this book, Helene Hanff was commissioned to write a travel guide to New York, written by a “real” New Yorker. Unfortunately, it is more of a travelogue of Hanff’s travels to actually see the tourist sites in New York. It was not well organized, fairly boring, and completely unusable as a travel guide. And, of course, this was written in the late 1970s, so New York is a very different animal. I just can’t find a reason to recommend this one at all – unless you’re interested in Helene Hanff for...more
Christina Beavan
Delightful, warm-hearted, easy to read. Left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling, love Helene Hanff's humour.
Tricia
A re-read in time for my NY trip. As lovely as I remembered it to be.
Claudia
In preparation for writing picture captions for a tourist guide, Helene Hanff, along with a friend, set out on a quest to see all of the New York City landmarks they had neglected to visit during long years in residence there. Written in 1976, it provides an interesting perspective, such as her impressions of the newly constructed World Trade Center Buildings. In her words, “Welcome to the 21st Century”—an ironic phrase given that the buildings were destroyed in the horrific terrorist attack sho...more
Christy
I LOVED this book. It's a travel guide for NYC written in 1976 by a woman who lived there and dragged her good friend all over town to check out all the tourist areas of Manhattan. It starts with her complaining about "new" World Trade Center (built in 1975) which made me so nostalgic.

Anyone who wants to travel to NYC or loves the city will appreciate this book. Most of the tourist attractions she describes are still around and most of what she writes is pertinent today. I loved that I could ta...more
Mari Anne
This latest foray into Helene Hanff, while different, did not disappoint. She is at her usual clever and wry self and I loved the descriptions of her trips with her friend Patsy and her usual spot-on observations. She tended to get a bit long winded with the historical facts but it was fascinating to read about New York during that time period, which included the WTC being built and the assasination of Kennedy, MLK and Malcom X. Another Hanff gem, not quite as good as the ones previously read bu...more
Ali
I read this very quickly this afternoon. Like the other Helene Hanff books I have read, it is charming and readable. I supose it didn't enthrall me quite like 84 Charing Cross Road, or The Legacy of Q however. The book written in 1976 is somewhat out of date, and I knew the world trade centre was gone, and wondered how many other things were different now. The story of Helene and her friend Pat's "holiday" in their own city though is lovely.
Sara Williams
This book is a brilliant insight into new York in the late seventies. You get a real feel for the city,the landmarks in it and the people of the time. It is very poignant to read about the World Trade Centre which seemed to be regarded as a bit of a nuisance at times, Little did they know in New York at that time what horror and devastation would occur decades later.
Maggie
This book is Helene's journey in New York to reacquaint herself with the city in order to write a book about it. She's amazed at what she doesn't know about the city she's lived in most of her life. Those who love traveloques will definitely like this one. I enjoyed it because I enjoy Helene Hanff's sense of adventure and sense of humor.
Angela
I love Helene Hanff. She is what I think of when I think, New Yorker. It was great to get the perspective of the city from the 70's. This book is short and sweet and a great read before a visit to the city. While much has changed (no World Trade Center) since the time of the book, the spirit of the city is still the same.
Nancy
Helene was hired to write the copy for a picture book of Manhattan. She and her friend Patsy spend two months touring the "must see" sites on the island. The book records her impressions as well as the interactions between Helene and Patsy. As always, Helene is incredibly charming and it made for a very fun read.
Anas
Great book for NY enthusiasts. Light read, captivating at times, and full of fun/historical facts about the island.
Michelle
A lot of this book is fun - the best part was learning the origin of one of my favorite poems, "Jenny Kissed Me." And going into NYC myself soon after made the book come alive for me. It makes more sense to read it if you're actually going to make a trip to the city.
Bridget
I love Hanff's writing style so much. I read the first edition of this book, published in 1979, and it's so much fun. It's like a mini time capsule, a great author's personal little window into history. It also makes me want to go site seeing something fierce.
Roberta
A charming tour of New York, set just a couple of years before I first went there. Gathered new information that makes me want to go back soon. Reading about the World Trade Centre and remembering being up in it was a bit eerie.

Reread in February 2007.
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Helene Hanff (April 15, 1916–April 9, 1997) was an American writer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she is best known as the author of the book 84 Charing Cross Road, which became the basis for a play, teleplay, and film of the same name.

Her career, which saw her move from writing unproduced plays to helping create some of the earliest television dramas to becoming a kind of professional New Y...more
More about Helene Hanff...
84, Charing Cross Road The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street Q's Legacy 84 Charing Cross Road / The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street Underfoot in Show Business

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