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City Lights: Stories About New York

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
With a poet's clear eye and a journalist's curiosity about how a city works, Dan Barry shows us New York as no other writer has seen it.

Evocative, intimate, piercing, and often funny, the essays in City Lights capture everyday life in the city at its most ordinary and extraordinary. Wandering the city as a columnist for The New York Times, Barry visits the denizens of the
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published October 30th 2007)
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Charlane Brady
Jan 18, 2010 Charlane Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan Barry is now one of my favorite writers....pure talent! These stories captivated me. I laughed, cried and read with anticipation....hanging on to every word. His stories of every day people are proof that we do not need sensational journalism.

If you know New York, you want to read these stories, and if you don't, you want to read these stories. City Lights is about us all.

Here are the stories I read twice:

People Cringed, But Twelve Cameras Never Blinked
A Thousand Words? This Stash Worth a
Dec 20, 2007 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves New York
Enjoyed his writing and the collection, but appreciated the stories more when read one or two at a time and savored rather than all at once.
Feb 08, 2009 Russ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
What a wonderful treasure of a book! This is a collection of Dan Barry's "About New York" column from the New York Times. He wrote the column from 2003 to 2006.

Each of the columns collected here tells a story about a New Yorker. A few are famous, but most are not. They are ordinary New Yorkers, but their stories are nonetheless extraordinary, especially to someone like me who does not live in such a city.

The stories of our lives are more fascinating than we think, and this book proves the poin
Jennifer Didik
Mar 06, 2014 Jennifer Didik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, nonfiction
4.5 if only because it's a bit awkward reading these consecutively, and in doing so their structures reveal themselves to be a bit cookie-cutter despite the wonderfully unique people and places and plots within each piece.
Apr 04, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are columns collected from the New York Times over the past several years. So it's good for a quick snack of a read while you're waiting for the coffee to brew.

The best pieces are the very few in which Barry is able to stretch out a bit from the usual confines of his column, like the aromatic valedictory to the Fulton Fish Market (p. 61). The section of wrenching 9/11 columns should be taken in small doses. If the Texas Hold 'em piece is a little cheesy (p. 139), still it's good to know wh
Mar 13, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Evocative, intimate, piercing, and often funny...' Enjoyable read
For anyone who lives or wants to live in NYC, this book really brings out the many hidden stories of people who live there everyday and show how the city affects their life. From the lady who lost a diamond earring to the person called Manhole cover lady and also Flyer-Man. All these stories really add something special to the city that never sleeps. If you don't live there already, it really makes you wish you did.
Sep 11, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories (only about 2 pages each) telling about the life of people living in NYC. The subjects are all over the place, including a woman who opens her home to people so they can enjoy free jazz concerts every Sunday, families that lost loved ones on 9/11, or the local barber's last day before retirement.
David Allen
Jul 26, 2010 David Allen rated it liked it
I was initially cool toward this collection of NYT columns because the writer refuses to use the first person. Where's the personality, the attitude? These could be feature stories. But especially in the final section, about a variety of NYC characters, his sly wit and eye for detail shone through, and I was won over.
Jan 03, 2008 J.P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in NYC, Americana, urban life
Shelves: gil
Wonderful little nuggets about life in one of the greatest cities in the world, from the sad closing of generations-old businesses to heartwarming stories of rescues, heroes, and quirky NYC characters. Gracefully, lovingly written. A real gem.
Dec 19, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Collection of short stories portraying different aspects of NYC. The writing is clear, concise, and alternates between tragedy and comedy - a great portrait of the diversity of the city.
Linda Appelbaum
An interesting book with plenty of stories about New York and the people who live there. I especially en;joyed the section about post 9-11.
Interesting stories about life in NYC
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Dan Barry is a longtime columnist and reporter for The New York Times and the author of four books, including the forthcoming “The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland.” Set to be released in May 2016, the book tells the story of dozens of men with intellectual disability who spent decades working at an Iowa turkey-processing plant, living in an old schoolhouse, and endu
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