At Sea in the City by William Kornblum
New York from the Water's Edge

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New York is a city of few boundaries, a city of well-known streets and blocks that ramble on and on, into our literature, dreams, and nightmares. We know the city by the byways that split it, streets like Broadway and Madison and Flatbush and Delancey. From those streets, peering down the blocks and up at the top floors, the city seems immense and endless.

And though the land itself may end at the water, the city does not. Long before Broadway was a muddy cart track, the water was the city's most distinguishing feature, the rivers the only byways of importance. Some people, like William Kornblum, still see the city as an urban archipelago, shaped by the water and the people who have sailed it for goods, money, pirate's loot, and freedom. For them, the City will always be an island.

William Kornblum--New York City native, longtime sailor, urban sociologist, and first-time author--has spent decades plying the waterways of the city in his ancient catboat, Tradition. In At Sea in the City, he takes the reader along as he sails through his hometown, lovingly retelling the history of the city's waterfront and maritime culture and the stories of the men and women who made the water their own. In At Sea in the City and in Kornblum's own humility, humor, and sense of wonder, one detects echoes of E. B. White, John McPhee, and Joseph Mitchell.

About William Kornblum

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William Kornblum is a professor of sociology at the City University of New York. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Chicago and was among the nation's first Peace Corps volunteers. He is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles on the people of New York. A native New Yorker, he's been sailing around the city his whole life.
Published May 29, 2013 by Algonquin Books. 268 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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and all about sociological environs like the Irish Riviera, biological ones like Gateway (a national park “devoted to unheroic species”), and scary ones like the 1950s wetlands, “outside the law, and a good dumping ground for murdered gangsters and the hulks of stolen cars.” Few get to see the ci...

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Readers visit City Island off the Bronx Peninsular, Ellis and Liberty islands off lower Manhattan Island, and the Rikers Island Prison as well as several much smaller and less known rocks within the waterways.

May 30 2002 | Read Full Review of At Sea in the City: New York ...

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