Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Apple of My Eye” as Want to Read:
Apple of My Eye
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Apple of My Eye

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  470 ratings  ·  79 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Apple of My Eye, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Apple of My Eye

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
So much fun reading about Manhattan of 40 years ago. Hanff's breezy style always goes down easy. It's one thing to say I wish I had known a certain author, but with Hanff I feel certain that I have known her. That we've been to a 92nd Street Y event together. (We haven't.)

The first couple of World Trade Center mentions were a punch to the gut, but then I grew grateful that this was one of the sights on her list.

Loved her descriptions of the newly designed Roosevelt Island and the newly reopened
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 The fact that this book about New York is outdated now does not really matter, since it is no more a tourist guide than "84, Charing Cross Road" is a book ordering instruction manual.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 07, 2015 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.
Bill Lynas
Back in the late 1970s Helene Hanff was asked to contribute some text to a book of photographs on New York City. An easy task she thought, until she realised she knew very little about the city she lived in.
Accompanied by her friend Pasty she trekked across New York. They visit iconic landmarks, occasionally get lost & even discover why 6th Avenue is confusingly called Avenue of the Americas. Hanff's style is light & chatty & this is a pretty short & sweet read.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Bridget
Shelves: nonfiction, overseas
Rainy bank holiday afternoons are ideal reading time and I greatly enjoyed taking a tour of New York with Helene Hanff. I am a committed armchair tourist: one who has no real urge to actually visit distant places but loves to read about them. Hanff is a wonderfully engaging writer, so this is an extremely readable account of New York’s tourist spots in the latter half of the twentieth century. It is a little weird to read a detailed account of visiting the World Trade Centre, though. Hanff exper ...more
Lisa Brantly
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Probably my least favorite of Hanff's books. But, still fun. I'll re-read if I ever go to New York.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
She seemed a bit cranky as she wrote this, but it was better than I expected it to be. Fun to read about Roosevelt Island and its tram when it first opened.
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 23, 2013 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
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How fun to get a view of NYC from one who's lived there most of her life....but temporarily living as a tourist, just to see what it's like (and to sell a book, of course). I love her realization in the beginning that she's lived here her entire adult life, and yet never seen some of the world-renowned locations that tourists come to New York for... I can relate, having so often not checked out the sights and sounds nearby because I live here, and "I'll get around to it someday."

Since this was f
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read about the author becoming acquainted with her hometown through the lens of a tourist. I snagged this book from a collection that came from a late friend because of how much I loved 84 Charing Cross Road. This book had the same voice and was full if tidbits of trivia and humor. I learned about The Cloisters (I always wondered what they were). I found out the source of the euphemism "using the facilities." I learned about the sad fate if immigrants turned away at Ellis Isla ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Aug 30, 2011 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
Jan C
Jul 11, 2009 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
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, nonfiction
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
Sep 14, 2015 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.

Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The very witty and somewhat acerbic writer Helene Hanff followed up on her success with 84, Charing Charing Cross Road, her famous memoir (made into a charming film with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins) of her two-decade trans-Atlantic communications with the London bookshop of the same name, with this highly personal and eclectic guide to Manhatttan, circa 1977.

The New York of that time was far from the glittering, polished-up Big Apple that we think of today. New York as a city was broke, di
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biog
I have enjoyed every one of the five or six books I've read by Helene Hanff, but this is my least favourite.

I generally enjoy her pithy, dry wit, and lively sense of humour. In this book she is visiting various places in New York, accompanied by a friend, to prepare for a book on... visiting New York. It was interesting to hear about the city from someone who knows it well, and she included some lesser known places as well as the standard ones. It seems a bit laboured at times though, compared
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Assigned to write the captions for a photographic book about New York, Hanff, who had lived there all her adult life, realised there was much about the city she had never seen or didn't know. So she and a friend embarked on whirlwind two month tour of New York's high points. The book describes their trips and is interspersed with Hanff's trademark dry wit. I love New York (in theory at least, I suspect I'll never get to visit in person) and Hanff' s writing style so it's no surprise I enjoyed th ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Helene... I think I am on a good way to have read all her books sometime soon. :-)
This here was as delightful as the previous - I only wish I could have had a map besides me to
walk along (in my mind) the streets and avenues she visited.
I know some of the places, but some were new .. and even though a lot will have changed since 1977, there will be still quite a lot to see from Helene's New York if and when I will visit this city again.
Looking forward to it!
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Becky by:
This is a nostalgic look back at New York City during the seventies from the author of 84, Charing Cross Road. Anyone who lived or visited NYC then will marvel at how much the city has changed. It was a fun walk down memory lane for me and also introduced me to some sights that I have not seen yet and will seek out when I visit again!
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
3&1/2 stars
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love reading anything by Helene Hanff and this was no exception. A great tour of New York City, not your average travel / history book but a fun adventure.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Makes me want to go back to New York
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
Jul 08, 2010 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 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
Robert B
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Another delightful book by the author of "84, Charing Cross Road." In 1976, a publisher asked Hanff, a native New Yorker, to write the text to accompany a book of photographs of New York City. This book, which recounts how Hanff and her friend Patsy toured the city to conduct "research" for this assignment, is the result. The text accompanies a number of black and white photos of New York and gives some reasonably good hints for tourists visiting the Big Apple: you'll see more if you take a bus; ...more
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
May 15, 2016 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
Aug 04, 2014 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Only in New York
  • A Thatched Roof (Beverley Nichols's Allways Trilogy)
  • A London Child of the 1870s
  • Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
  • My Own Cape Cod
  • Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?
  • A Fine Romance:  Falling in Love with the English Countryside
  • My Heart Wanders: A celebration of taking risks, letting go and making a home wherever you are
  • Hard Times: Force of Circumstance, Volume II: 1952-1962 (The Autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir)
  • The Cat Who Came in from the Cold
  • Too Many Cooks: 4 Kids, 1 Mom, 102 New Recipes
  • Love Always
  • 500 Great Books By Women
  • A Very Private Eye: The Diaries, Letters And Notebooks Of Barbara Pym
  • Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45
  • Can Any Mother Help Me?
  • See Naples and Die
  • Our Hearts Were Young and Gay: An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s
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