?This is the most brilliant epitome of Manhattan ever written.? ?Mike DavisEvery morning, the architect and writer Michael Sorkin walks from his apartment in Greenwich Village to his office in Tribeca. Unlike most commuters, Sorkin isn't in a hurry, and he doesn't try to drown out his surroundings. Instead, he's always paying attention. As he descends the narrow stairs of his town house, Sorkin explains why New York doesn't have the grand stairwells so common in European apartment buildings. Stepping out onto his block, he imagines a better, more efficient, far less dirty way to dispose of garbage. As he crosses Canal Street, he remembers the mad proposals for tunnels, elevated highways, and mega-structures that threatened lower Manhattan and could have destroyed its urban fabric. Fifty years after Jane Jacobs's groundbreaking The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Sorkin's vision of city life is every bit as perceptive and fine-grained as that of Jacobs's classic. With important insights into history, architecture, and public policy, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan is an extraordinary, deeply personal look at a city undergoing?always undergoing?dramatic transformations.
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