Synopses & Reviews
East Side, West Side, from the Little Red Lighthouse to Battery Park City, the wonders of Manhattans waterfront are both celebrated and secret-hidden in plain sight. In his brilliant exploration of this defining yet neglected shoreline, personal essayist Philip Lopate also recovers a part of the citys soul.
A native New Yorker, Lopate has embraced Manhattan by walking every inch of its perimeter, telling stories on the way of pirates (Captain Kidd) and power brokers (Robert Moses), the lowly shipworm and Typhoid Mary, public housing in Harlem and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. He evokes the magic of the once bustling old port from Melvilles and Whitmans day to the era of the longshoremen in On the Waterfront, while appraising todays developers and environmental activists, and probing new plans for parks and pleasure domes with river views. Whether escorting us into unfamiliar, hazardous crannies or along a Beaux Arts esplanade, Waterfront is a grand literary ramble and defense of urban life by one of our most perceptive observers.
About the Author
Phillip Lopate is the author of numerous books, including Getting Personal: Selected Writings, the essay collections Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, Writing New York, and Portrait of My Body, and the novels The Rug Merchant and Confessions of Summer. Most recently, Lopate authored Seaport: New Yorks Vanished Waterfront, a book of photographs of maritime Manhattan. He is also the editor of The Art of the Personal Essay, and his work has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Vogue, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter, and teaches at Hofstra University.