This is a riveting classic. It flows with descriptive representations of impossible places and odd times. Calvino knows how to image a city with visceral detail. For me, this book unpacks New York, as a fantasy within a fantasy - ever-changing and therefore never truly knowing.
The city is the protagonist. A maze about politics, activism, art. Very related to the Marquis de Sade.
Chronic Cities describes the New York mood pretty well, in a neighborhood where I've rarely been when I was living in New York, the Upper West Side. There's a lot of good characters and a tiger walking through New York, too. It reminds me of my time in this city, when I also did not understand much.
Anyone with a special relationship with New York should read this! Between 1954 and 1981, Maeve Brennan alias The Long-Winded Lady wrote the "Talk of the Town" column for The New Yorker. This book is a collection of her essays. About the most ruthless, ambitious, confusing, funny, sad, cold and humane city.
Jonas Mekas’s New York diary illuminates not just the inner life of an incredible artist and cultural impresario, the key moments and players in the development of his pioneering diaristic aesthetic, but it also documents the evolution of the city’s explosive art scene. Jonas witnessed artists such as Andy Warhol, George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Michael Snow, and so many others experimenting with new forms of art making- what we now take for granted as interdisciplinary- was just then only coming into view.