100 New Yorkers
A Guide to Illustrious Lives and Locations
By Julia Holmes
This unique guidebook profiles legendary painters, actors, politicians, comedians, and artists, as well as other personalities whose lives have shaped the city over three centuries. Each biography is followed by sites throughout the city associated with each person—their homes, "their" cafes and restaurants, the settings for fabulous parties, and more. With 100 black and white photos and more than 400 sites.
There are two indexes. One includes all the individuals and sites profiled. The other is an index of the connections among the 100 New Yorkers and the places in the city where their lives intersected: the fateful meeting of Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore on the bench outside of the New York Public Library reading room; architect Stanford White's creation of the Washington Square Arch, which Marcel Duchamp would storm in the next century to declare a Free and Independent Republic of Greenwich Village; the midnight walks of Jacob Riis and Theodore Roosevelt through the slums of Lower Manhattan.
These 100 New Yorkers, illustrious and sometimes notorious, lived in New York during different periods in the city's 350-year history. Each was deeply and permanently preoccupied with New York City. For many, like Dawn Powell and Malcolm X, the city stood for a sense of personal destiny, and they made it their home. Those who chose to leave it (Edith Wharton, Sojourner Truth) obsessed over what it lacked or what it had lost; those who lamented its rough character (Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt) loved it nonetheless; some despaired over its moral lassitude and its appetite for danger and novelty (Anthony Comstock); while others (Emma Goldman, Dorothy Day) devoted themselves to helping the victims of city life—immigrants, workers, poor women, and children. All of them were both frustrated and enchanted by New York. Through novels, paintings, performances, philanthropy, legislation, invention, and commerce, they strove to create a truer, bigger picture of what New York is and might be.
About the Author
Julia Holmes has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.