Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul

We rated this book:


Vanishing New York by Jeremiah Moss (not the writer’s real name) is an initially engaging, but ultimately frustrating, look at the effects of hyper-gentrification on New York City. The first hundred pages or so are fascinating, like a good magazine article about places that once existed at a tourist destination. But once the reader has passed the 400-page mark, the charm of the work has completely evaporated.

“Moss” – who acknowledges in the book’s opening that he may soon disappear “like the New York I love” – is an individual who would have been praised in graduate school for his issue-spotting skills. If he had devoted 50 to 60 percent of the book to identifying the problems with gentrification and 40 to 50 percent to proposed legislative and social solutions, the work might have been uplifting. Instead, it’s 95+ percent devoted to kvetching about what’s been lost. This gets boring very quickly.

And, make no mistake, Moss – or whoever he is – goes way overboard in his language about the Big Apple: “I stay because I need New York. I can’t live anywhere else.” Of course he could live somewhere else, but he elects to stay and complain rather pointlessly about the changing and evolving face of a major city.

Everything changes, Moss. Get over it.

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Star Count 1.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 480 pages
Publisher Dey Street Books
Publish Date 2017-Jul-25
ISBN 9780062439697 Buy this Book
Issue December 2017
Category Current Events & Politics


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