Magnetic City

A Walking Companion to New York

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From New York magazine’s architecture critic, a walking and reading guide to New York City—a historical, cultural, architectural, and personal approach to seven neighborhoods throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, including six essays that help us understand the evolution of the city

For nearly a decade, Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Justin Davidson has explained the ever-changing city of New York to his readers at New York magazine, introducing new buildings, interviewing architects, tracking the way the transforming urban landscape shapes who New Yorkers are. Now, his extensive, inspiring knowledge will be available to a wide audience. An insider’s guide to the architecture and planning of New York that includes maps, photographs, and original insights from the men and women who built the city and lived in it—its designers, visionaries, artists, writers—Magnetic City offers first-time visitors and lifelong residents a new way to see New York.

Includes walking tours throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx
• the Financial District
• the World Trade Center 
• the Seaport and the Brooklyn waterfront
• Chelsea and the High Line
• 42nd Street
• the Upper West Side
• the South Bronx and Sugar Hill

Praise for Magnetic City

“[Justin Davidson] combines a keen intelligence, experience, observational skills, expertise (especially but not solely architectural), and an elegant writing style to make this beautifully produced book indispensable.”Booklist (starred review)

“A street-level celebration of New York City in all ‘its perpetual complexity and contradiction’ . . . A worthy companion to Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City and the American Institute of Architects guides to the architecture of New York as well as a treat for fans of the metropolis.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In this exquisitely crafted book, Justin Davidson does more than direct our feet to New York’s hidden monuments. He explains the structure of the city with a clarity that would be bracing even for a Gotham habitué, but more than that, he finds the meaning in every building and byway.”—Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of Far from the Tree

“Mr. Davidson’s exceptional knowledge of our beloved city is inspiring. Magnetic City is now my official chaperone.”—Patti LuPone

“Justin Davidson has a mind alive to every signal, and his brilliant prose style transmits that electricity in black-and-white type. He is thus born to the task of capturing the chaotic splendor of New York City on the page.”—Alex Ross, author of Listen to This

“Justin Davidson’s beautiful tours of New York City invoke and redouble our love of the metropolis. His observations of landmarks, in-between places, and layered histories, delivered by an amazing kindred-spirit of architecture, make us feel like royal presences in the city.”—Jerry Saltz, senior art critic, New York

“A fascinating and insightful companion for a walking tour of New York City. I particularly enjoyed the rich interweaving of the contemporary and the historical. A book worthy of the 21st century flaneur!”—Daniel Libeskind

- About the author -

Justin Davidson is the architecture and classical music critic at New York magazine, where he writes about a broad range of urban, civic, and design issues. He grew up in Rome, graduated from Harvard, and later earned a doctoral degree in music composition at Columbia University. As a classical music and cultural critic at Newsday, he won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2002. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

More from Justin Davidson

Magnetic City

A Walking Companion to New York

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Magnetic City

— Published by Spiegel & Grau —