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Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan's Lost Places of Leisure
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Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan's Lost Places of Leisure

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  30 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Winner of the Publication Award for Popular Culture and Entertainment for 2009 from the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America

Named to Pop Matters list of the Best Books of 2009 (Non-fiction)

From the lights that never go out on Broadway to its 24-hour subway system, New York City isn't called "the city that never sleeps" for nothing. Both native New Yorke
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Paperback, 269 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by New York University Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
This book should be required reading for anyone who lives in New York City -- or any urban setting, really. Freeland chronicles life as it was over a century ago, looking at buildings (and even entire neighborhoods) that have not existed for decades -- yet the stories he tells are thoroughly, shockingly of the moment.

I think the average New Yorker in 2012 has a whole litany of gripes they feel are completely of their era (post-Stonewall, post-Jonathan Larsen, post-Giuliani, post-2008 economic c
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David Landon
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: The author
I am currently reading this fascinating book, a sort of walking tour of Manhattan with an emphasis on old theatre and entertainment sites: the Hebrew Actor's Union, the Atlantic Garden, the Lincoln Theater. David Freeland obviously loves New York, its history, its vanished and not yet vanished places. This is a must for anyone who is passionate about New York theatre.
Jill Hutchinson
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
East Side, West Side, all around the town..........this delightful book examines the neighborhoods and buildings of a bygone age in NYC....buildings which have disappeared or been abandoned because of "progress", taking with them part of the history of the world's greatest city. Some we know from popular culture...Billy Rose's Golden Horseshoe, Horn and Hardart's automat, and the Log Cabin Club. Others, from the early 20th century are not as familiar but are as equally treasured and missed. The ...more
Jillian
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a stand-out book. Though far from perfect, it deserves notice//your attention for its approach alone. Here's a summary: the author takes a survey of several buildings in New York that still stand through chance alone - i.e. with no help from landmark designation or historic preservation groups - albeit in altered form (sometimes unrecognizable). They are places of entertainment whose histories he traces in a simultaneous chronological/geographic order, mapping the migration of manhattan' ...more
Viviane
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm into NYC history and Automats, so I picked this up. While I typically enjoy research books, especially of NYC, this one was such a boring read. Even the section on the Bowery put me to sleep. I didn't find this book's presentation of NYC neighborhoods and former buildings interesting enough, which is sad because I find this stuff incredibly interesting. The epilogue, where he tours of a burned out building for sale that was once the Nest Club, you can feel his nostalgia and passion for histo ...more
Jenna
A very interesting geographic/social historical look at different New York theatres/entertainment areas. I especially appreciated the maps. The descriptions were vivid and certainly made me want to walk around NYC with this book in hand looking for the clues and hints to the past.
Samantha
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
loved! saw him speak so fascinating.
Kathleen
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for flaneurs & amateur urban archaeologists.
Charles Williams
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Barbara Finkelstein
Dec 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent picture of entertainment in Manhattan not so long ago.
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David Freeland is the author of the books Ladies of Soul (University Press of Mississippi) and Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure (NYU Press), which was selected as one of the Best Books of 2009 by Pop Matters and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010, and won the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America’s 2009 Publication Aw ...more
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