Our primary goal at twi-ny is to introduce native New Yorkers as well as tourists to cool spots and great things to do across the five boroughs. While we’re transitioning to our new format one we hope you’ll find easier to use and exciting to explore we had to decide what to broadcast on our re-opening day. Actually, the choice was not that hard once we perused the brand-new book NEW YORK: THE BIG CITY AND ITS LITTLE NEIGHBORHOODS (Rizzoli Universe, September 2009, $25). Native New Yorkers Naomi Fertitta and Paul Aresu take readers on a series of fun adventures through many parts of the city in this beautiful book, winding their way through ethnic neighborhoods large and small, both well known and well under the radar. They head out into such local enclaves as Bay Ridge’s Little Beirut, Woodlawn’s Little Ireland, East Harlem’s Little Mexico, Flushing’s New Chinatown, and Tompkinsville’s Little Sri Lanka. Along the way they reveal all kinds of small treasures including some of our favorite gems, such as Lomzynianka in Greenpoint’s Little Poland, Myers of Keswick in Greenwich Village’s Little Britain, Aji Ichiban in Downtown’s Chinatown, Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights’ Little Dominican Republic, and Mombar in Astoria’s Little Egypt.
While Fertitta gives some history to each location and recommends places to eat and shop and unique spots to visit, Aresu snaps wonderful pictures, sometimes arranged several on one page and other times unfolding across colorful spreads. His photos of the Mahayana Buddhist Temple, Nio’s Trinidad Roti and Bakery, Mombar, and Butala Emporium are particularly striking. “One of the best things about New York City,” Fertitta writes, “is that you can turn a corner and find yourself in a whole different world.” THE BIG CITY AND ITS LITTLE NEIGHBORHOODS will introduce you to twenty such worlds, lovingly described in words and pictures. Fertitta and Aresu had never met prior to working together on this two-year project. At the book’s recent release party at the Museum of the City of New York, they looked like they’ve become the best of friends, expressing to us the sadness they felt after visiting their final destination. Well, there are a lot more neighborhoods out there; perhaps there is more to come?