Thursday, September 18, 2014 Elul 23, 5774
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One of my all-time favorite books is Lost New York , a compilation of photos, sketches and text that explain all the architectural wonders that we Americans somehow allowed people to destroy throughout the recent history of Manhattan. The long-lamented original Pennsylvania Station at 33rd Street -- one of the greatest creations of the fabled McKim, Mead and White firm...
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... and ours: The story of a Philadelphia street
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Bruce Buschel's first book, Walking Broad , published recently by Simon & Schuster, has an almost unbeatable premise. Not that it's so outrageously novel. Many other writers have wandered about cities -- generally along major, world-famous thoroughfares -- in search of the heart and soul of a particular urban terrain and its populace. In fact, this little trick was especially...
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The journey of a New York mayor's family
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When the book Fiorello's Sister appeared in my office, the thought flashed through my mind that, yes, Fiorello La Guardia, the beloved mayor of New York City during the 1930s and '40s, known endearingly to his supporters as the "Little Flower," had had Jewish ancestry somewhere down the line. I assumed that this point was the reason why the book...
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An ethnic bent on an old, yet relevant, story
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The Jewish King Lear . It sounds like the basis for a skit on the old Sid Caesar television program of the early 1950s. Or, perhaps, the subject of one of the extended riffs my old Yiddish-speaking relatives used to perform at Bar Mitzvahs or other social gatherings, translating Shakespeare -- most often Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be"...
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A steady hand tackles an old stalwart of a subject: New York's theater industry
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Stefan Kanfer. The name may not ring any bells, although it should, especially if you're a lover of books and magazines. That's because Kanfer, who, for 20 years, was a more than dependable staple at Time magazine, has also been turning out a steady stream of more than dependable volumes of biography, history and social criticism on a wealth of...
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