New York Night: The Mystique and Its History

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Simon and Schuster, 13 sept. 2005 - 416 pagini
Who among us cannot testify to the possibilities of the night? To the mysterious, shadowed intersections of music, smoke, money, alcohol, desire, and dream? The hours between dusk and dawn are when we are most urgently free, when high meets low, when tongues wag, when wallets loosen, when uptown, downtown, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, male, and female so often chance upon one another. Night is when we are more likely to carouse, fornicate, fall in love, murder, or ourselves fall prey. And if there is one place where the grandness, danger, and enchantment of night have been lived more than anywhere else -- lived in fact for over 350 years -- it is, of course, New York City.
From glittering opulence to sordid violence, from sweetest romance to grinding lust, critic and historian Mark Caldwell chronicles, with both intimate detail and epic sweep, the story of New York nightlife from 1643 to the present, featuring the famous, the notorious, and the unknown who have long walked the city's streets and lived its history. New York Night ranges from the leafy forests at Manhattan's tip, where Indians and Europeans first met, to the candlelit taverns of old New Amsterdam, to the theaters, brothels, and saloon prizefights of the Civil War era, to the lavish entertainments of the Gilded Age, to the speakeasies and nightclubs of the century past, and even to the strip clubs and glamour restaurants of today.
We see madams and boxers, murderers and drunks, soldiers, singers, layabouts, and thieves. We see the swaggering "Sporting Men,"the fearless slatterns, the socially prominent rakes, the chorus girls, the impresarios, the gangsters, the club hoppers, and the dead. We see none other than the great Charles Dickens himself taken to a tavern of outrageous repute and be so shocked by what he witnesses that he must be helped to the door. We see human beings making their nighttime bet with New York City. Some of these stories are tragic, some comic, but all paint a resilient metropolis of the night.
In New York, uniquely among the world's great cities, the hours of darkness have always brought opposites together, with results both creative and violent. This is a book that is filled with intrigue, crime, sex, violence, music, dance, and the blur of neon-lit crowds along ribbons of pavement. Technology, too, figures in the drama, with such inventions as gas and electric light, photography, rapid transit, and the scratchy magic of radio appearing one by one to collaborate in a nocturnal world of inexhaustible variety and excitement.
New York Night will delight history buffs, New Yorkers in love with their home, and anyone who wants to see how human nocturnal behavior has changed and not changed as the world's greatest city has come into being. New York Night is a spellbinding social history of the day's dark hours, when work ends, secrets reveal themselves, and the unimaginable becomes real.

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Pagini selectate


Chapter Three
Broadway After Dark
Chapter Five
Electric Costumes and Brass Knuckles
Chapter Nine
Radio Nights and Evenings at Home in the Depression
When the Lights Went
Chapter Eleven
Notes and Sources
Drept de autor

Chapter Eight

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Pagina 297 - More than mere weariness, it implies the feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul; a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In short, it means being undramatically pushed up against the wall of oneself. A man is beat whenever he goes for broke and wagers the sum of his resources on a single number; and the young generation has done that continually from early youth.
Pagina 245 - Therefore at this fair are all such merchandise sold as houses, lands, trades, places, honours, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms ; lusts, pleasures, and delights of all sorts, as whores, bawds, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not. And moreover at this fair there is at all times to be seen jugglings, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, and rogues, and that of every kind.
Pagina 51 - J[effery]s told me that to walk out after dusk upon this platform was a good way for a stranger to fit himself with a courtezan, for that place was the generall rendezvous of the fair sex of that profession after sun set. He told me there was a good choice of pritty lasses among them, both Dutch and English.
Pagina 56 - ... then we have recourse to our fans, and then we blush, and then the gentlemen jog one another, peep under the fan, and make the prettiest remarks; and then we giggle and they simper, and they giggle and we simper, and then the curtain drops, and then for nuts and oranges, and then we bow, and it's Pray, ma'am, take it, and Pray, sir, keep it, and, Oh!
Pagina 18 - ... the Indians murdered in their sleep. I returned again to the house by the fire. Having sat there awhile, there came an Indian with his squaw, whom I knew well, and who lived about an hour's walk from my house, and told me that they two had fled in a small skiff; that...
Pagina 91 - This lens being soon introduced, gave us a fine half-mile distance, and we counted three parties of these creatures, of twelve, nine, and fifteen in each, walking erect towards a small wood near the base of the eastern precipices. Certainly they were like human beings, for their wings had now disappeared, and their attitude in walking was both erect and dignified.
Pagina 56 - Tambours, sometimes make a party, with some other ladies, in a side-box at the play. Everything is conducted with such decorum —first we bow round to the company in general, then to each one in particular, then we have so many inquiries after each other's health, and we are so happy to meet each other, and it is so many ages since we last had that pleasure, and, if a married lady is in company, we have such a sweet dissertation upon her son Bobby's chincough, then the curtain rises, then our sensibility...
Pagina 91 - They averaged four feet in height, were covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair...
Pagina 130 - Where dogs would howl to lie, women, and men, and boys slink off to sleep, forcing the dislodged rats to move away in quest of better lodgings.

Despre autor (2005)

Mark Caldwell is the author of The Last Crusade: The War on Consumption 1862­1954 and A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America. He teaches at Fordham University and divides his time between Manhattan and the Hudson Valley.

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