All of New York is Guy Trebay's New York: the streets, the alleys, the chic shops, the zoo; the rappers, the drag queens, the kids in the public pool, the subway artist
In The Place To Be
Guy Trebay's New York
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Guy Trebay, photographs by Sylvia Plachy
In this collection of spirited essays, Trebay reports on the dramatic and subtle changes in his city during the 1980s and 1990s. Tuned in to the stray comment and the characteristic gesture, he charts the city's history eye-to-eye with the people who made it. "When I was a kid in New York, the subways were a place for perfect comportment: riders took their seats, made a vertical fold in the Times, crossed ankles (women), adjusted hats, smoothed the skirts of their Peck & Peck suits, and shut up....I couldn't tell you the moment when the subway became a nonstop subterranean exercise in group therapy with the spirit of Sylvia Frumkin calling the shots. But I'd guess it was in the 1970s. So much weirdness started then...."
Driven by curiosity into obscure corners and marginal neighborhood of the city, a Trebay essay captures fragile moments in the life of a place or an individual. Accompanied perfectly by Sylvia Plachy's often mystical, odd-angled photographs, the essays create a kaleidoscope of people, places, and conversations in the city that is constantly reinventing itself. Trebay freeze-frames it all, even the seemingly permanent "air of self-importance, a conviction that when you're here, you're in the place to be."
"New York has been in a journalistic crisis for years, with almost everyone unsure of how to cover the new city that is emerginga city of immigrants and poor people, great pains and hard pleasures, needles and trash and rhythms and spices and smells. Guy Trebay is a magnificent exception to this dreary rule: as E.B. White did in his day, Trebay comprehends both the particulars of this new New York and the mood they add up to. He is an absolutely necessary reporter, and also a pleasure to read."
"Trebay, a columnist and editor at the Village Voice, is a good writer, a gutsy man and a mensch.... Since 1981, Trebay has watched and listened to New Yorkers, opening up parts of the city generally beyond his readers' purview....these human-interest stories are worth dipping into."
Parts of Speech
The Sweet Sell
Kinship18. Kanesha and Aunt Te
Under One Sky
Everything Must Go
Guy Trebay, a columnist and senior editor at The Village Voice, writes frequently for The New Yorker, Vibe, Conde Nast Traveler, Grand Street, and many other national publications.