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The World in a City: Traveling the Globe Through the Neighborhoods of the New New York

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  23 reviews
“The whole world can be found in this city. . . .”
–from the Preface

Fifty years ago, New York City had only a handful of ethnic groups. Today, the whole world can be found within the city’s five boroughs–and celebrated New York Times reporter Joseph Berger sets out to discover it, bringing alive the sights, smells, tastes, and people of the globe while taking readers on an
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Ballantine Books
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3.60  · 
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 ·  126 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library_books, nyc
If you're familiar with New York City, you'll recognize what a truly impressive job Berger's done profiling changes in several neighborhoods over the past generation. If not, his portayals of life outside the more touristy areas should give an appreciation of how diverse life there can be. At first, I was tempted to skip around with the order in which I read the essays; however, it became clear that they've been arranged as they are so that the parts make a well-put-together whole. Highly recomm ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of New York
If you ever want to understand the change culture and immigration trends that New York and its suburbs have been through this is the book to read to learn and study all that. The author takes you on this amazing historical journey through each major neighborhood in New York so you can understand what it was before and what it as turned into today. The sad thing that is that the author made a point in saying that despite all his incredible researching and interviewing in each neighborhood, it wil ...more
Michael Lewyn
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Each chapter in this book profiles a different neighborhood that has been transformed over the past few decades - in most cases, by the "new immigration" from Latin America, Asia, and even Africa (though Berger also discusses a couple of newly-gentrifying areas and the Orthodox Judaism that now dominates Midwood).

As a new resident of NYC, I got some ideas about places to visit; in fact, this morning I visited the Bukharan Jewish Center, the opulent Bukharan synagogue in Forest Hills that Berger
Nicole Smith
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This book jumped out at me from a travel guide shelf. I wish I had read it about five years ago - or rather I wish it had been published more recently. Reading about all these neighborhoods that are at arms length for me right now made me want to go explore them all. However, the too true observation that New York City is a place that is ever changing place was a little off the mark with the added prediction that the book would be outdated in 20 years. Less than 10 years later I know a couple of ...more
Rachelle Rae
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-york-city
If you are a New York Cityophile like myself, you will love this book. Berger takes you on a journey through some of New York's swiftly changing, far flung and not so far flung neighborhoods. The journey he takes the reader on is based on interviews with resident, observations of street life, memories of his own life growing up in the city, and larger ones of the collective city history. At the end of each neighborhood chapter he lists suggested places to go visit and eat in the neighborhoods he ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it
A pretty engaging look at New York and its ethnic past and future. It really nails down the nostalgia with which people (especially from the outside) regard the city, the identification of things lost, the collective suffering and achievement. Also identifies the new wave of immigration that is changing the city so radically, as well as the economic effects of the real estate boom (although it will be interesting to see what the popped bubble effect will be). I was annoyed at Berger's insistence ...more
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cities, nyc
Such a sweet collection of NYC immigrant and neighborhood stories. Berger takes you to neighborhoods well known, like Chinatown, or lesser-known, like Gerritsen Beach, and shares stories of people who once lived there or currently live there, and also paints a picture of what life is like. Berger is a journalist, so the chapters read more like essays, with the (to-be-expected) insertion of his opinion here and there. I didn't really like the profile on Norwood (his thesis wasn't all there, and h ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
**2.5 Stars**

I thought this book was going to be different. The 'Traveling the Globe' part of the subtitle gave me the impression that this book would tell me about all the different cultures in NY and which neighborhood I should go if I wanted to get a taste of it.

To be truthful there was a bit of that, but the book was inundated with nostalgia. Most chapters were about elderly people complaining about the way things it used to be and how the neighborhood had changed. This was BORING.

I think I
Apr 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Lots of great stories about New York. For a reporter for what my partner calls the "belly button paper" (New York Times), he's pretty careful to notice the good, the bad, and the ugly in his hometown. My only quibble is he seems a bit less comfortable with black people (esp. black people born in the U.S. versus African and Caribbean immigrants)--that is, talking to and about black people--than with other people of color, and he ought not to be, considering he's a New Yorker born of poor Jewish i ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
An insight into ny that I was craving. Although it was tedious at times, it still reassured me that not all of ny can be rough, and that although it is a diverse city to say the least, it is still a melting pot and second generation immigrants integrate. Can't wait to live there and try all the restaurants and barbers listed.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Charming! Also, a helpful window into neighborhood trends. It's amazing how much has changed even in the four years between this book's publication and the time I started reading it. ("Greece is a rich country now!" someone crowed in Astoria. I just can't get that out of my mind.)
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Shame that I discovered it so late, as it's almost 10 years old now. I was surprised to see how quickly neighborhoods were changing at that time.

Also great for providing context and history to the areas I live near.
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
I'm excited about this- it's about a lot of outer neighborhoods and their constituents, how the immigrant experience is so different than it used to be, and how the city has changed and/or stayed the same. I've read 2 chapters and already love it!
Jun 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I gave this book a try - I started from the beginning, skipped around, read the end in an attempt to find some meat to this book. There is none. It's all New York tourism fluff. So sad - it had so much potential!
Apr 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Great and informative book on some of the neighborhoods in New York City.
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
So many must-visit places in this book! The history of some of NYC's neighborhoods is pretty cool, too.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
A unique look at New York's neigborhoods today.
Beth Harper
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Learned a lot about oft-overlooked communities in New York City.
Nov 07, 2007 rated it liked it
A little dry, but Berger has clearly done tons of research and puts together some interesting profiles of different immigrants all over the city.
Dec 20, 2007 marked it as to-read
Shelves: urbanshifts
Part of my new quest to reframe my Brooklyn-centric world view . . .
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Absolute must-read if you live in New York - any of the boroughs will do. Terrific book by a swell guy.
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