Walking in the City (From Home)

By NYPL Staff
July 15, 2020
Ottendorfer Library
b19806598Barvin Location Photograph Archive

Avenue C and E. 8th Street. Barvin, Bill. NYPL Digital Collections. Image ID: 5211667

Walking in the city is great! When weather, distance, global pandemics, or circumstances make doing so difficult, try taking a walk (or crawling) through the city in a book. Here are some suggestions for all ages to get you started:


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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

When Claudia and Jamie run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art they encounter a baffling mystery.

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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems

After a fun day with Daddy at the local Laundromat, Trixie quickly notices that her cherished Knuffle Bunny is missing and turns to her father to help her get him back, in a quirky tale about a special daddy-daughter adventure.

Young Adult

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What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

When Arthur, a summer intern from Georgia, and Ben, a native New Yorker, have a meet-cute at the post office they think the universe may have plans for them, but after three attempts at dating fail, they are not so sure.

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Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes

In the wake of a near-fatal car accident, Isaac Kew, twenty, recalls a very long walk he took three years earlier with his bipolar girlfriend, Nest.

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

In an effort to escape the hypocrisies of life at his boarding school, sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield seeks refuge in New York City.


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Open City by Teju Cole

Feeling adrift after ending a relationship, Julius, a young Nigerian doctor living in New York, takes long walks through the city while listening to the stories of fellow immigrants until a shattering truth is revealed.

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Bill Cunningham: On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography by Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham' s photography captured the evolution of style, of trends, and of the everyday, both in New York City and in Paris. But his work also shows that street style is not only about fashion; it's about the people and the changing culture.

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My New York Diary by Julie Doucet

In My New York Diary—one of the first contemporary graphic novels—Doucet abruptly packs her bags and moves to New York. Trouble follows her in the form of a jealous boyfriend, insecurity about her talent, her worsening epilepsy, and a tendency to self-medicate with booze and drugs.

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Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London by Lauren Elkin

Charts the relationships between women and the cities they live in, describing how a good walk in an urban setting has helped many a woman, both fictional and real, through art, history, literature and film, from Virginia Woolf to Holly Golightly.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old son of a man killed in the World Trade Center attacks, searches the five boroughs of New York City for a lock that fits a black key his father left behind.

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New York in Stride: An Insider's Walking Guide by Jacob Lehman

The "must-visit, must-see" travel list given to you by the New Yorker friend you wish you had.

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William Pope L.: The Friendliest Black Artist in America by William Pope L.

An introduction to the work of the controversial visual and performance artistWilliam Pope.L.

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Here is New York by E.B. White

E.B. White's stroll around Manhattan remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America's foremost literary figures.

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.