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New York Night: The Mystique and Its History

by

New York Night: The Mystique and Its History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Caldwell's poetic approach to New York City is epic as he paints a portrait of New York nightlife from 1643 to the present. He brings past places and people alive with vivid imagery, gleaming like neon colors emerging from a twilight fog. The book becomes a time machine, beginning with 17th-century New Amsterdam's Wooden Horse tavern (dispensing 'the volatile elixir that alternately held [the city] together and blew it apart'). As centuries flash by, Caldwell (The Last Crusade: The War on Consumption 1862 — 1954) hovers over milestones and architectural splendors. In 1836, the leading outdoor nighttime venue was Niblo's Garden, 'famous for its fireworks and festoons of light,' which glowed on Broadway long before millions of theatergoers began crowding the Great White Way. Many Manhattan industries — 'theater, restaurants, newspapers, broadcasting — begin a crescendo of activity with each dusk,' and Caldwell chronicles it all, from gaslights to gangsters, from riots to prizefights, from burlesque to Bickford's, from opium to heroin from the Beat Generation to the fiction of Richard Yates, from fame to obscurity. Plunging into the heart of darkness, this masterful work succeeds in illuminating the vast shadowy soul of New York. Agent, Anne Rittenberg. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A critic and historian presents more than 350 years in the night life of America's most vital and fascinating city--featuring the famous, the notorious, and the unknown people who walked its streets and created its history.

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

New Amsterdam Noir The Dark Nights of Dutch Manhattan

What Happened at Midnight: February 25, 1643

From Stadts Huis to City Hall: The Dutch Night Englished

1679: Jasper Danckaerts's New York

Chapter Two

Rattle Watch Nights

City Streets After Sundown, from Peter Stuyvesant to the Early Republic

John Crooke's Orchard and John Hughson's Tavern: Race and Violence in Pre-Revolutionary New York

Before the Revolution: Evenings with the Yankee Aristocracy

Into the Dark: The Great Fire of 1776 and the Urban Underworld

John Street Overture: Theater in the Later 1700s

Secrets of the Tammany Wigwam: The City Tavern, 1790-91

Chapter Three

Hearthside and Rushlight

Old New York at Home

Drawing the Shutters, Keeping the Fire: New York Houses in the 1600s and 1700s Manhattan Season: Winter, 1800-1801

Old Mr. Dunlap: Greenwich Village in the 1830s

Chapter Four

Broadway After Dark

Pleasures and Horrors of Federal New York

Broadway Deluxe: Glamour in the 1840s

City Beat: The Moon in the Morning and the Sun at Night Hanington's Virtual Moon and the Dioramas of Monsieur Daguerre

"AWFUL CALAMITY--UNPRECEDENTED CONFLAGRATION!!"

The Great Fire of 1835

Mansion, Slum, and Boardinghouse

"DREADFUL MURDER ON ANTHONY STREET":

The Surfacing of the Criminal Underworld

Chapter Five

"Bowery Gals Will You Come Out To-night?"

Nighttime on the Bowery Before the Civil War

Bowery People: B'hoys and Sporting Men

A Sockdoliger in the Bellows-Mover:

The Bowery Steps Out in the 1840s

Sex and the Antebellum City:

Gay, Straight, White, Black, and Charles Dickens

Showdown at Astor Place, 1849

Chapter Six

"Under the Rain of Gaslights"

From the Civil War to the Gilded and Gruesome 1870s

By Owl Train to Harlem

Blazing City, Hidden City The Devil and Anthony Comstock:

Vice and Vigilantism in the 1870s

Woman in the Dark: March 31 to April 1, 1878

Chapter Seven

Electric Costumes and Brass Knuckles

Glamour, Crime, Sports, and the Commercialization of Night in the 1890s

Rialto Market: The Business of Entertainment After the Civil War

Blood Under the Gaslights:

Prizefighting and the Rise of Nighttime Sports

"Depravity of a Depth Unknown":

The Turn-of-the-Century Underworld

Century's End

Chapter Eight

Mr. Dieter Vanishes, November

The Volstead Act, Jazz, and Earl Carroll's Vanities

You Cannot Make Your Shimmy Shake on Tea:

Prohibition Unleashed

Supper Clubs: Benzine and White Rock at 3 A.M.

Jazz and the Jazz Age Night

Way Downtown, Way Uptown: Greenwich Village and Harlem

Nude and Stewed: The Story of the Bathtub Girl

Chapter Nine

From Poorhouse to Penthouse and Back

At Home, Homeless, and On the Town in the Mid-1930s

Hooverville Lullaby

Skyscraper Nocturne

Deco Defiance: Good Times in Hard Times

Mrs. Murphy's Parlor:

Radio Nights and Evenings at Home in the Depression

Harlem Once More: Floor Show at the Club Barron, 1937

Chapter Ten

When the Lights Went Out

World War II, the 1950s, and the Suburbanization of Night

Minsky Agonistes: Times Square at War Uneasy Summer:

1948, Drugs, and the Souring of Postwar New York

Postwar Blues: Lost in Beat Manhattan, 1950-1960

Nightclub Requiem:

Modernity, Crime, and the Nervous Streets of the Late 1950s

The Night They Busted Sophie Tucker

Chapter Eleven

Full Moon Over the Stonewall

The Gay Epiphany, Discomania, and the Surfacing of Hidden Night

Revolution in Sheridan Square:

The Stonewall Riots, June 27-28, 1969

The Return of Monsieur Daguerre: Postmodern Night, 1970-2004

Naked Broadway and the New Millennium

Epilogue

Spring 2004

Back to the Wooden Horse

Notes and Sources

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743242769
Subtitle:
The Mystique and Its History
Author:
Caldwell, Mark
Author:
Mark Caldwell
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
History-United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Copyright:
Publication Date:
August 2005
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.18x6.34x1.25 in. 1.26 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast

New York Night: The Mystique and Its History Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743242769 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Caldwell's poetic approach to New York City is epic as he paints a portrait of New York nightlife from 1643 to the present. He brings past places and people alive with vivid imagery, gleaming like neon colors emerging from a twilight fog. The book becomes a time machine, beginning with 17th-century New Amsterdam's Wooden Horse tavern (dispensing 'the volatile elixir that alternately held [the city] together and blew it apart'). As centuries flash by, Caldwell (The Last Crusade: The War on Consumption 1862 — 1954) hovers over milestones and architectural splendors. In 1836, the leading outdoor nighttime venue was Niblo's Garden, 'famous for its fireworks and festoons of light,' which glowed on Broadway long before millions of theatergoers began crowding the Great White Way. Many Manhattan industries — 'theater, restaurants, newspapers, broadcasting — begin a crescendo of activity with each dusk,' and Caldwell chronicles it all, from gaslights to gangsters, from riots to prizefights, from burlesque to Bickford's, from opium to heroin from the Beat Generation to the fiction of Richard Yates, from fame to obscurity. Plunging into the heart of darkness, this masterful work succeeds in illuminating the vast shadowy soul of New York. Agent, Anne Rittenberg. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A critic and historian presents more than 350 years in the night life of America's most vital and fascinating city--featuring the famous, the notorious, and the unknown people who walked its streets and created its history.
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