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Apple of My Eye

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  373 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
A celebration of her life-long love for New York, Hanff embarked on this project as an assignment, and realized she had not been to many of the main tourist attractions- the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the World Trade Center. As make-believe tourists, off she and Patsy travel to describe the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grant's Tomb, Fraunces Tavern, some of New York's ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Moyer Bell (first published 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 713)
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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 The fact that this book about New York is outdated now does not really matter, since it is no more a tourist guide than "84, Charing Cross Road" is a book ordering instruction manual.
Aug 12, 2015 Trelawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time I toured New York of the '70s with Helene. It didn't quite get me in the same way as The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street but that because I have been to London and could visualise the places she was talking about. The New York trip was still great with lots of interesting historical tidbits and asides by Helene. An interesting, if a little dated, guide book.
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
Dec 26, 2013 Jana rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 17, 2015 Allan rated it it was ok
Being a fan of all things NYC, and particularly all things NYC in the 1970s, I thought that this 'travelogue' by a city native written in spring 1977 would give a real insight to the city as it was in the midst of financial crisis and artistic expression. No such luck.

A quick, light and basically shallow read about the author's journey around a tiny part of her city with a friend, that spent more time documenting their conversations than informing the reader of much interesting about the city.

Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Sep 05, 2011 Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) rated it liked it
Shelves: bios, travelogue
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
Sep 19, 2014 Maija rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2014
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
May 15, 2016 Liz rated it it was amazing
According to the introduction, Helene Hanff was asked by her publisher to write the copy for a book of photographs of the attractions and sites of New York City. Somewhere along the way, I suppose, the photographs fell by the wayside, and the author produced instead this lovely little book about her beloved hometown. Initially panicked because, although she lived in the city, she had never visited the Statue of Liberty, nor the World Trade Center, nor Grant’s Tomb, nor many of the other sites to ...more
Jan C
Jul 11, 2009 Jan C rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 10, 2010 Skyring rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2011 Elsje rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2003
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
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
Feb 18, 2015 Danette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
What a lovely book! Written in the late-70s as she was researching her home city for a guide book for tourists - it is just a treasure! It's fun to read about things that were in progress at that time (The World Trade Centers were new), and to read about what she thought would happen in the future (she predicted the end of Broadway theatre due to the reconstruction of Times Square!). A beautiful story of two friends seeing their hometown through the eyes of tourists. Love love love it!
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
Oct 28, 2014 Pequete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
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
Sep 19, 2014 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
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
David Crosby
Nov 29, 2008 David Crosby rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 30, 2012 Betty rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 04, 2009 Jessica rated it it was ok
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
Jun 01, 2014 Tricia rated it it was amazing
A re-read in time for my NY trip. As lovely as I remembered it to be.
Apr 13, 2013 Claudia rated it really liked it
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
bookish  butch
Dec 28, 2015 bookish butch rated it liked it
a bit dated, not nearly as good as Charing Cross or Q
Oct 06, 2010 Christy rated it it was amazing
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
Jan Duthie
Jul 26, 2015 Jan Duthie rated it really liked it
Helene's must see is a must read. Excellent.
Mari Anne
May 10, 2012 Mari Anne rated it liked it
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
May 31, 2009 Ali rated it liked it
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.
Apr 20, 2015 Regina rated it it was amazing
Fellow New Yorker as a tourist in her hometown!
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.
Sep 13, 2008 Maggie rated it really liked it
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.
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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 about Helene Hanff...

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