Table of Contents

Section I: Here is New York

New Yorkers and their Neighborhoods

  • Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York
  • Katie Roiphe, A Coney Island of the Mind
  • Langston Hughes, Subway Rush Hour
  • Ralph Ellison, New York, 1936
  • Anna Quindlen, Pregnant in NY
  • Ian Frazier, Take the F
  • Willie Perdomo, where i’m from
  • Nelson George, Fort Greene Dreams
  • E. B. White, Here is New York

II  Immigrants and the American Dream

  • Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus
  • Langston Hughes, Good Morning
  • Anzia Yezierska, America and I
  • Junot Diaz, The Money
  • Claude McKay, Tropics in New York
  • Frances Chung, Riding the Subway is an Adventure
        • Yo Vivo in Barrio Chino
  • Edwidge Danticat, New York Was Our City on the Hill,
  • Suki Kim, Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits

III  Urban Education

  • Dewitt Clinton, Free Schools
  • Colin Powell, My American Journey
  • Bilal Rahmani, Chronicles of a Once Pessimistic College Freshman
  • Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican
  • Alfred Lubrano, Bricklayer’s Boy
  • Howard Gardiner, Five Minds for the Future
  • Claudia Wallace and Sonja Steptoe, How to Bring Our Schools into the 21st Century

IV  Urban Art and Design

  • José Parlá, Research and Memory
  • Joseph Anastasio, My Life in Graffiti
  • Berenice Abbott, Seventh Avenue (image)
        • Manhattan Bridge (image)
  • Lewis Wickes Hine, Sweat Shop, NYC (image)
        • Riveters Attaching a Beam (image)
  • Dinanda H. Nooney, Home of Basquiat (image)
        • Joe Roifer and Friend (image)
  • Rem Koolhaas, Prediction
  • Donald Reynolds, The Making of an Icon
  • Mark Naison, From Doo Wop to Hip Hop: The Bittersweet Odyssey of African   Americans in the South Bronx

V  Current Issues

  • James Parrott, As Income Gap Widens, New York Grows Apart
  • Brian Paul, Affordable Housing Policies May Spur Gentrification, Segregation
  • Margaret Morton, The Homeless
  • Ben Shepard, Fighting Police Brutality in Global Brooklyn
  • Mark Berkey-Gerard, Youth Gangs
  • Aarti Shahani, Legalization and De-legalization
  • Courtney Gross, Despite Setbacks, Bloomberg Plan Has Made New York Greener

VI  Exploring the Waterfront

  • Russell Shorto, Henry Hudson, The Pollinator
  • Walt Whitman, Mannahatta
        • Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
  • Ernest Poole, The Harbor
  • Philip Lopate, The Brooklyn Bridge
  • Jennifer Egan, Reading Lucy
  • Gloria Deák, The People, Parks, and Ambience of Brooklyn

Section II: Literary New York


  • Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener
  • Stephen Crane, A Dark-Brown Dog
  • Edith Wharton, Mrs. Manstey’s View
  • O. Henry, The Making of a New Yorker
  • John Dos Passos, Ferryslip
  • Ralph Ellison, Prologue to “Invisible Man”
  • Monique Ferrell, Tu Sabes: A Story in Three Parts
  • Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Live-In
  • Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
  • Ha Jin, A Good Fall


  • Mayakovsky, Brooklyn Bridge
  • Hart Crane, To Brooklyn Bridge
  • Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay, Recuerdo
  • Amy Lowell, The Taxi
  • Langston Hughes, Lenox Avenue: Midnight
  • Li-Young Lee, The City in Which I Love You
  • Hilda Morely, New York Subway
  • Harvey Shapiro, Meditation on a Brooklyn Bench
  • Honest Abe, Lost Son’s Self Assessment
  • Taiyo Na, Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother)
  • Gangstarr, The Place Where We Dwell
  • George Guida, Life in the New World
  • Meena Alexander, Central Park, Carousel
  • Toni Morrison, The Dead of 9/11

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