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Mapping Manhattan: A L...
Becky Cooper
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Mapping Manhattan: A Love (And Sometimes Hate) Story in 75 Maps

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  230 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Armed with hundreds of blank maps she had painstakingly printed by hand, Becky Cooper walked Manhattan from end to end. Along her journey she met police officers, homeless people, fashion models, and senior citizens who had lived in Manhattan all their lives. She asked the strangers to "map their Manhattan" and to mail the personalized maps back to her. Soon, her P.O. box ...more
ebook, 112 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Abrams Image
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Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful object of a book, and a really interesting concept - the author spent a day walking the length of Broadway with her friend handing ordinary New Yorkers a uniform blank map of Manhattan, encouraging them to map their own experiences. Many different interpretations, some more engaging than others, but both the maps and the occasional added rationale makes this book a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the borough.

Thank you to Barbara for her kind gift of this book!
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: road-lit
this is a unique format - part essay, part art project, part found media(?). it can be read in one sitting, but is the kind of book that anyone who loves new york will naturally feel drawn back to time and again. there is so much charm and room for empathy in the maps. i have the feeling that this book will resonate less with people who have not spent time in new york. there is something about the richness and intensity of simply being in new york that imbues places and life events with such a s ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, new-york
Becky Cooper and friend hiked the entire 13-mile length of Broadway handing out blank maps of Manhattan for people to fill in and mail back to her. The results (by some famous names but mostly anonymous folks) are a delightfully artistic and fascinating ode to the city... and to life and love. Interspersed with the maps are Cooper's own reflections of her project and the history of the city. This is one to savor! I found myself wondering how I would fill in a map of my favorite city (San Francis ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, new-york
For all of us who've ever been in a relationship with that little island off the coast of America, this book is a tiny window into her other suitors' souls. I laughed. I cried. It was better than "Cats."
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book, what an awesome idea for a project. I read this with a post it note in the back where I jotted down things to include on my map of Manhattan, so many memories. So glad I bought it, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's been to NYC.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful book - really makes you think about the places where memories are made and how location impacts what you think of a city as a whole.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that although interesting to read, did not live up to my expectations. The concept seemed wonderful, but I felt that some of the maps chosen for the book were just OK.

The book is printed in a small and narrow format, which I felt made it difficult at times to read all the handwriting on the maps.

Though it was interesting to see what individuals decided to create with their blank maps, I guess I just had the idea that there would be more wild and elaborate maps. In general, I fel
Suzanne Artis
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journals
I love the many layers of this book...tidbits of NYC history, personalized maps by a spectrum of New Yorkers, little illustrations of buildings or landmarks, mini-journal entries about the author's journey and lots of food for thought with bios about each mapmaker and more book recommendations related to NYC. I read it over a long time just examining a couple of maps at a time. My faves include "My Lost Gloves" by Patricia Marx, "Manhattanhenge" by Neil Degrasse Tyson, "Ava is Here," and a "Pede ...more
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Awesome. It inspired me to map some of my life.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining and thought-provoking read for anyone interested in (as you may have guessed) maps, or Manhattan.
Emma Aylor
These people and creativities and passions are why I love New York. A perfect, earnest book.
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Achingly beautiful, nostalgic project by a Harvard classmate. If you love maps, wandering, and the stories that stem from them half as much as I do, you will love this book.
Jesse Richards
This was fun, and the highlights were the celebrity contributions and the more professional artists. But the rest of the maps just show similar memories (this was my first apartment, this was my first Broadway show) from people we don't know.
Chris Reid
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have a large map of Manhattan that was given to me by my parents quite a long number of years ago now. The map is an early version (mid-19th Century) of the various planning maps that were creates at the time NYC went through the grid planning process, which gave the island its particular character for the next soon to be 200 years. This is a scaled down version of that - and a book that has the stories, hopes, dreams and losses of a number of folks who chose to participate in the author's ide
Jan 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Stop. Take a moment. Think. Now draw the world around you. Not as it is, but as it is to you.

This is the challenge Becky Cooper presented to hundreds of New Yorkers (and a few tourists, accidentally) with her brilliant art project, marching up Broadway armed with hand-printed maps for them to fill in any way they chose. The concept is amazing, and the maps frequently quite revealing, whether or not they come complete with the artist's name - chocked with kisses and first trysts, places to grab a
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Despite the fact that some of these feel like cheating (i.e. paintings/photos that do not point out specific locations), this book is based on a great idea and seems to genuinely capture a good range of New Yorkers. I would have loved to see longer annotations and stories, but it might have been best to limit how much each person could tell in the interest of not going overboard. This inspired me to make my own map of the city (including Queens and Brooklyn) on Google Maps and I already have ove ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Per farsi venire nostalgia di New York e per trovare la scusa per comprare ancora libri di carta.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I have been obsessed with this book for a while, but never picked it up. I suggested it to our literary committee, since the theme of our annual Literary Evening was NYC stories. The chair got in touch with Ms. Cooper, and she came to the event. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend! But I finally got the book and I really loved it. Maps as biography, political statement, love letter.... I definitely want to take this idea to our Faculty for a community building activity. What I love is that the ...more
I bought this book prior to visiting Manhattan for the first time in 40 years. I thought it would help put me in the right frame of mind before tackling such a huge, complex city. And did it ever!!
I imagine that the future of hardcover printed books will be similar to this. It is not only a delightful project, but the physical design is so beautifully in keeping with its subject - proportioned to match the geography of the island, lovingly illustrated and the maps themselves so beautifully rende
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has a deep love of NYC
Recommended to Anthony by: NYTimes
very well delivered recording of a wide collection of public personal accounts of their encounters with Manhattan (encounters ranging from the minimal to life-defining) -- however, it is just not the original idea a number of reviewers have praising it for (the creation of cognitive maps of cities was an exercise in the first week of my 1989 Intro to Architectural Theory class)
May 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I ended up liking the concept of this more than the book. I found some of the maps hard to read, so that's kind of disappointing, but it was fun to read all those antidotes about my city and to read the maps of both strangers and some well known people. Unfortunately, I think I may have just expected more.
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, simple concept - get people to relate to their city, and share their passion for it, by giving them a very basic map and letting them mark/customise it as they deem fit. A good blend of the factual and the conceptual in the maps chosen, it conveys the magic that defines Manhattan. I could have cheerfully browsed through many more.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0wned
This book was really cool. I am going back to visit NYC in a few months and this really ignited my excitement! Very fresh, creative book. I do wish there were more writings, but the maps are still fun. Maybe the writings are left out to let your imagination develop the stories more, but I like reading the people's actual stories along with the maps better. Still great!
Justin Mueller
The maps were almost all too small to read on a Kindle. Somehow I thought this would be fun to read but it's really not too suitable for the casual tourist. Also the actual writing was minimal, with the focus in the hand-drawn maps.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A beautiful book. Cooper asked New Yorkers to write and draw their own memories of their lives in New York onto a map of Manhattan. The results are often moving, sometimes disturbing.

With an eloquent and incisive introduction by Adam Gopnik.
Julie Anderson
Very fun. I enjoyed viewing all the maps and think it was truly a fabulous idea. I believe I can continue to look at them and find something new each time -- even though I need to find my magnifying glass for some of them. Enjoyed it. Makes me want to do it in Austin.
Svetlana Dotsenko
My favorite book. Gorgeously illustrated, unique concept, and filled with achingly beautiful stories of New Yorkers and their stories intertwined with the cities. Couldn't recommend it to you more :)
Suzan Bond
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I'm about to move to New York City soon I was keen to pick up this book. A beautiful little book that gives a look into Manhattan through the eyes of different citizens (both famous and not). The writing is quite lyrical and inspiring. I can't wait to map my own memories of NYC.
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Creative cartography, psychogeography, or personal mapping-- all apt descriptors of this intriguing collection of hand drawn impressions of Manhattan. Hard to read without being inspired to create your own maps of places that have touched your soul.
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very fun for NYC folks and anyone who has visited. Gives sweet insights but also reflects my life here, walking, watching, wandering. The submitted maps are clever. I want to check out her website and see the others.
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“Even after three hundred maps have been handed out, Ama and I still melt the moment people switch from being suspicious that we want to sell them something--"Hey? What do you want? Money? Directions?--to realising that we just want to know their stories, their memories, what they love--"Oh, in that case, thanks, sweeties!” 3 likes
“And yet, there will always be something essentially elsewhere about New York. It is a place that people come to precisely because it doesn't ever fully offer itself. It's intoxicating. Keeps you on your toes. Keeps you drinking coffee and keeps you walking.” 0 likes
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