There is a story everywhere in New York City. Gotham is a collage of life stories, like a multifaceted crystal where each surface is a new and different tale. Every encounter, everything we see, people we know and don’t know all have stories. Most of the stories are unknown, most untold, but in reality there is a vast richness of unique experiences out there, waiting to be revealed. From Choi and Maria, the gentle and devoted Korean couple who run my corner bodega, to the beautiful line driven art work of Elbow-Toe, that skips across building walls and doors in and around Brooklyn, these are just pieces of the New York City story pie.
What makes a good story? Time, place, situation and most important the person who tells the story. A storyteller who puts words to paper, creating an engaging, intelligent and thought provoking piece, out of the seemingly ordinary, is nothing if not truly talented, gifted even. Dan Barry is one such person. He wrote the About New York section for the New York Times (currently he is writing the This Land section for the New York Times) for many years and those columns were made into a book City Lights: Stories About New York.
Dan Barry has given a voice to the people and places in New York City that would barely register on any scale. Through a combination of words and ideas he has unmasked the mundane of this city, revealing a poignancy and passion that lies just below the surface of all our lives. In 1000 word essays, Dan Barry has crisscrossed the city opening a window into the people and places that would otherwise be unknown to us. Some of the essays are heartwarming, some are tragic, but what City Lights best reveals is the heart and soul of New York City .
On Wednesday April 1, Dan Barry will be reading and discussing his book City Lights: Stories About New York at the Mid-Manhattan Library on the 6th floor at 6:30. Please join us for a wonderful evening.