Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York

From the #1 NYT bestselling author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast's new graphic memoir--a hilarious illustrated ode/guide/ thank-you note to Manhattan.A native Brooklynite-turned-suburban commuter deemed the quintessential New Yorker, Roz Chast has always been intensely alive to the glorious spectacle that is Manhattan--the daily clash of sidewa...

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Title:Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York
Author:Roz Chast
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York Reviews

  • Elyse Walters

    If you love Roz Chast, or New York and have perhaps developed a soft spot for graphic art books ......secretly knowing “Can’t We Talk About Something More

    Pleasant” is when your love, appreciation, and admiration, for ‘graphic art’ books first grew.....then there is no reason you won’t enjoy this book too: “Going Into Town”....a love letter to New York.

    I wasn’t rolling on the floor - laughing and crying - hysterically like I did in CWTASMP.... ( yes.... I really ‘was’ laughing and crying uncont

    If you love Roz Chast, or New York and have perhaps developed a soft spot for graphic art books ......secretly knowing “Can’t We Talk About Something More

    Pleasant” is when your love, appreciation, and admiration, for ‘graphic art’ books first grew.....then there is no reason you won’t enjoy this book too: “Going Into Town”....a love letter to New York.

    I wasn’t rolling on the floor - laughing and crying - hysterically like I did in CWTASMP.... ( yes.... I really ‘was’ laughing and crying uncontrollably the second time I read the book when reading it out loud… or at least trying to read it to my husband Paul...who was adding his own jokes).....but I enjoyed it.

    This book is EXACTLY what it says it is....” Going Into Town”. It might seem tedious for some New Yorkers to read a page about the facts of streets and avenues— and the important facts about the east side and the west side... but I think even a native might get a kick from Roz’s creation. After all not everyone knows what the term CROSS STREET means in Manhattan.

    From walking around the city making “discoveries” such as a store that sells a

    “jabillion” kinds of ribbon, to noticing the wide variety of installation pipes, to the subway experience, the shuttle stations, how to hail a cab, things to do, finding a place to be alone, shopping, parks, wildlife ( mice, rats, apartment cats, dogs, and psycho pets), food....(if you can’t find something to eat in New York you must not like food), to apartment living, etc., Roz Chast who no longer lives in New York but grew up in Brooklyn was inspired to write this book when her daughter was leaving for college in Manhattan.

    All mom’s want to make sure their daughters and son’s know how to get around in the new city where they will be attending college —�( shhhh even if they have been there a zillion times) .....Roz wrote this book as letter to New York... focusing on Manhattan... where she feels most at home .... but as any mother will see.....

    it’s a love book to her daughter too!

    4.5 Stars. ‘not’ as powerful as “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant”....yet still warms your heart!

  • Suzy

    So many reasons to love this book! Roz Chast for one - her humor, her fabulous illustrations and her intimacy with her subject. NYC for another - what's not to love! I got half-way through and deemed worthy of 5 stars.

    Looping back now that I've finished . . .

    I love Roz Chast and have been enjoying her cartoons for decades. I was reminded by the blurb on the back of the book that she has been drawing in The New Yorker since 1978 - almost 40 years! I've been subscribing that entire time, and more

    So many reasons to love this book! Roz Chast for one - her humor, her fabulous illustrations and her intimacy with her subject. NYC for another - what's not to love! I got half-way through and deemed worthy of 5 stars.

    Looping back now that I've finished . . .

    I love Roz Chast and have been enjoying her cartoons for decades. I was reminded by the blurb on the back of the book that she has been drawing in The New Yorker since 1978 - almost 40 years! I've been subscribing that entire time, and more, and one of the first things I do when I get the latest issue is flip through the magazine to find her cartoon. Did I say how much I love Roz Chast?

    Going Into Town made me laugh out loud, touched me and left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. At the beginning of the book, Roz tells us:

    That just tickled me to think that your Mom would create a book of illustrations to introduce you to the place you're going to college and to the place that your Mom loves, even though you've grown up in Connecticut.

    She ends the book with:

    Enough said!

  • Melki

    I have had exactly two visits to the isle of Manhattan (three, if you count seeing Woody Allen's movie while it was still in theaters). I have a vague recollection of going there once with my father when I was young enough to have required a trip to F.A.O. Schwartz. We also visited the Statue of Liberty and peered out her crown. And, I believe my favorite matryoshka doll was purchased at the U.N. gift shop . . . I'm not sure, and my dad is no longer around to ask. He'd remember, I know.

    My second

    I have had exactly two visits to the isle of Manhattan (three, if you count seeing Woody Allen's movie while it was still in theaters). I have a vague recollection of going there once with my father when I was young enough to have required a trip to F.A.O. Schwartz. We also visited the Statue of Liberty and peered out her crown. And, I believe my favorite matryoshka doll was purchased at the U.N. gift shop . . . I'm not sure, and my dad is no longer around to ask. He'd remember, I know.

    My second time in the big city was much more memorable. It was my high school senior class trip. More than a hundred teens, plus chaperones, left central Pennsylvania frightfully early one June morning to arrive in Manhattan many hours later. We all trooped out of our plush traveling buses, and into two

    buses for a touristy but fun ride around the city with a smart-ass driver offering commentary. From this I mostly remember seeing the Bowery (those bums made quite an impression), and that tennis court built on a pier where Annie meets Alvy in yet another Woody Allen movie -

    . We were then split up into groups of about eight kids, and two chaperones. This is were it gets kind of fuzzy. I spent most of my time with Debbie E.'s weird father who looked just like Wallace Shawn. I can't remember where we went, or what we did, but since my group was comprised of all girls, I'm pretty sure I saw the inside of every public restroom in Manhattan.

    The whole class met up for dinner at an Italian restaurant that had been hand-picked by our class president, an urbane, artsy sort who "knew the city well." I remember one girl at my table, horrified by the price of soda, ordered water, only to be served a more expensive bottle of Perrier. For some reason, the females at my table seemed taken with the glasses in which our drinks were served, so much so that they decided to slip them into their purses - a kind of souvenir, I suppose. I didn't take one. I mean, it was a drinking glass; we had more than a few at home. I doubt I'll ever forget the busboy's expression when he came to clear the table which was virtually devoid of glassware.

    When we climbed aboard the buses for the return journey, it was discovered that some of the groups were missing. It seems their chaperones had just turned their charges loose in the big, bad city. Happily, everyone was safely rounded up, and we departed for home one and a half hours late, but mostly no worse for wear. Because of certain individuals' indiscretions, however, I believe we were the

    senior class to make the traditional NYC trip. Yep. We were the ones who ruined it for everybody else.

    What's this have to do with anything? Well, I always expected that I would someday

    in Manhattan. I would be a writer for

    , and cruise around the city in my yellow VW convertible, just like Diane Keaton in you-know-what-movie. None of this ever came to pass, and I've never been back to that city that never sleeps. And, quite honestly, I didn't really miss it.

    Until . . .

    I read this book. Damn you, Chast! Your descriptions of ALL THOSE MUSEUMS made me drool on my keyboard. This is indeed

    , which grew from a guidebook Chast wrote for her daughter who would be attending college in the city. It's also a wonderful collection of cartoons that does more for NYC tourism than any slogan featuring that ubiquitous heart could ever do.

    Well, sort of . . .

    .

    Chast grew up in Brooklyn. She and her parents would take the subway into the city -

    to see musicals. Chast vowed she would someday live there. She did, and now graciously shares her insights with us. I suppose I enjoyed this so much because Chast and I seem to take delight in many of the same things, like a building that features a dollar store on the ground floor, shiatsu massage, hat repair, and a psychic on the second floor, and a dentist and a cat psychiatrist on the third.

    And, food.

    The author offers valuable hints for taking the subway, like:

    There's also advice for hailing cabs, taking buses, and enjoying the local flora and fauna.

    Obviously, this is not a serious guide to visiting New York City. It does however provide plenty of laughs, and make you want to visit the place.

    Sort of . . .

  • Diane

    This is a charming love letter to New York City from cartoonist Roz Chast. I had liked her previous book, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” and was thrilled she had written another one.

    Chast said this book started as short guide for her daughter when she moved to Manhattan for college. The final version is both helpful and humorous, packed with useful tips about the layout of the city, how to get around, what to do, how to find an apartment, etc., but also lots of jokes about the ur

    This is a charming love letter to New York City from cartoonist Roz Chast. I had liked her previous book, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” and was thrilled she had written another one.

    Chast said this book started as short guide for her daughter when she moved to Manhattan for college. The final version is both helpful and humorous, packed with useful tips about the layout of the city, how to get around, what to do, how to find an apartment, etc., but also lots of jokes about the urban jungle, the quirky stores, the subway, and the people. I smiled often while reading it, and even called my husband over to look at a favorite drawing.

    Highly recommended for fellow Roz Chast fans, or anyone who loves NYC.

    “I feel about Manhattan the way I feel about a book, a TV series, a movie, a play, an artist, a song, a food, a whatever that I love. I want to tell you about it so that maybe you will love it too.”

    “I will always feel gratitude and astonishment that Manhattan allowed me to make my home there. It’s still the only place I’ve been where I feel, in some strange way, that I fit in.”

  • Jill

    Roz Chast grew up in Brooklyn (before it became trendy) in the same neighborhood that I did; in fact, we even attended the same high school. So I laughed out loud when she describes the destiny she avoided: commuting every day to Manhattan wearing beige support hose and clinging to a subway pole.

    Fortunately, Roz Chast evaded that fate and did move to “the city.” But like many city dwellers. she eventually moved an hour north of the city. When her own daughter decides to attend college in Manhatt

    Roz Chast grew up in Brooklyn (before it became trendy) in the same neighborhood that I did; in fact, we even attended the same high school. So I laughed out loud when she describes the destiny she avoided: commuting every day to Manhattan wearing beige support hose and clinging to a subway pole.

    Fortunately, Roz Chast evaded that fate and did move to “the city.” But like many city dwellers. she eventually moved an hour north of the city. When her own daughter decides to attend college in Manhattan, she created this book—a graphic memoir that is, in essence, a love note to the Big Apple.

    Both personal and practical (there’s a great guide, for example, to the main museums and the main parks), this is a hilarious, dead-on look at Manhattan: where the city bird may well be the pigeon, the wildlife consists of mice, rats, and GIANT rats, and interesting storefronts and objects abound.

    Still, there’s no other city like it – “the best place in the world, an experiment, a melting pot, a fight to the death, an opera, a musical comedy, a tragedy, none of the above, all of the above.” It’s a “must have” book for any New Yorker, former New Yorker, or anyone who has heard of or dreamt of New York. And, while it lacks the introspection and poignancy of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, it is what it is…a wonderfully illustrated look at a one-of-a-kind city as only Roz Chast could create.

  • David Schaafsma

    I just read indie comix artist Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, and was reminded of other love letters to NYC I have read in recent years: Cheap Novelties: The Pleasure of Urban Decay, Ben Katchor, and See the City: The Journey of Manhattan Unfurled, Matteo Pericoli. I lived in Manhattan, on the upper west side, from 1995-1999, and loved it. But could never be seen as a New Yorker, even if I lived there forty years. I was an am

    I just read indie comix artist Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, and was reminded of other love letters to NYC I have read in recent years: Cheap Novelties: The Pleasure of Urban Decay, Ben Katchor, and See the City: The Journey of Manhattan Unfurled, Matteo Pericoli. I lived in Manhattan, on the upper west side, from 1995-1999, and loved it. But could never be seen as a New Yorker, even if I lived there forty years. I was an am an outsider, and know how to drive! I was born in the flyover midwest, Grand Rapids, Michigan, so my nearest Big Cities were Chicago, where I visited with my family yearly the Art Institute and Museum of Science and Industry, and Detroit, where I mainly saw the Detroit Tigers play. But NYC, and especially Manhattan! It had everything that I read about in The Village Voice, music, art, theater! The Village! When I finally lived there, I was too old to go clubbing (though I did go to several shows and even actual clubs to dance), but I was at the time childless, so it was great to eat out a lot and see the museums and plays. It was exciting to be there, teach there.

    Roz Chast is a whimsically odd and always insightful staple of The New Yorker. She last year wrote a memoir about her aging parents, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Going Into Town is less memoirish, but—as the subtitle says—a love letter to her beloved Manhattan (though she doesn’t really talk about the other boroughs; Chast’s New York City is Manhattan). She calls it a “sort-of guide” to NYC, because it talks of the layout of the City and the subway system, the things to do such as museums and parks, apartment life, but it is more a kind of meditation on the look and feel of it, the experience of this great city, mainly for those who live there and love it. The audience isn’t clear, really, but you get Chast cartoons, all lovely and funny and quirky.

    Here’s an article in “The Times” (or, what others outside of New York might refer to as the The New York Times, “Roz Chast is New Yorkier than You”:

    You can see some of the book on the NPR Review site. Do it now:

  • Margaret

    4/5

    Faithful readers of

    and lovers of Roz Chast cartoons, will find in

    another book-length delectable treat. This book is a special sub-genre of love letters to NYC: the humorous perspective of a native of an outer borough (in Chast’s case Brooklyn), who is also a long-time lover of Manhattan and all its greatness. At the same time as she shows her insider stuff, Chast makes sure you know she’s never been to the Statue of Liberty (too touristy) and was only to the E

    4/5

    Faithful readers of

    and lovers of Roz Chast cartoons, will find in

    another book-length delectable treat. This book is a special sub-genre of love letters to NYC: the humorous perspective of a native of an outer borough (in Chast’s case Brooklyn), who is also a long-time lover of Manhattan and all its greatness. At the same time as she shows her insider stuff, Chast makes sure you know she’s never been to the Statue of Liberty (too touristy) and was only to the Empire State Building once, a visit that turned out to be quite trying because of something Chast just happened to find on the sidewalk as she walked to the building. Even though the book is full of inside jokes about the city (e.g., though Sixth Avenue was renamed Avenue of the Americas in 1945, not one native New Yorker uses its proper name “because GIVE ME A BREAK” (27).), its good humor and its real information in pseudo guidebook/guide map style welcomes everyone. Towards the very end of the book, Chast turns a bit solemn as she mentions the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and how the city reacted:

    Well, all this is making this native Brooklynite too misty for her own good. Just go read the book; you’ll see.

  • Aloke

    Update Jan 2018: downgrading to three stars after seeing

    Less personal than "Can't we..." so if you're expecting something cathartic you'll be disappointed. It's really a Manhattan travel guide but just focusing on whatever Chast thinks is important. I'd get it from the library (or buy it as a gift for someone from out of town and read it before giving it away).

  • Kelli

    My introduction to graphic novels was the funny and deeply moving memoir

    It was very good. This book was more guidebook than love letter. It is clear that the author loves NYC and this has good information, but I was hoping for many more personal stories. Still, a quick fun read for fans of the city. 3 stars

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