I thought I had written about it but guess not . . . I am talking about the “Going Into Town” book by cartoonist Roz Chast. I finally got around to reading it. My cousin had handed it to me one day, she said she thought of me when she saw it so she bought it. She knows I love New York and cartooning and this book is perfect for both.
She asked me if I had ever heard of Roz Chast and I had to laugh because I found one of my favorite museums in New York because of Roz Chast. A few years ago, The Museum of the City of New York had an exhibit featuring Roz Chast’s work. There was a lot of original cartoon art from her New Yorker magazine work and so much more.
I had never been to that museum so I took the subway up to 103 Street and fell in love with the area. It’s sort of a Latin neighborhood with bodegas and lots of people and activity and then you walk over to the 5th Avenue end, where the museum is, right across the street from Central Park and it’s a different world. Thanks to Roz Chast, I have visited that neighborhood and that museum numerous times over the last few years.
Anyway, I finally got around to reading the book and it’s hilarious. It’s written in Roz’s hand, literally. It’s not typeset, it’s spelled out in her handwriting. It’s all about New York City in a truthful and funny way with the cartoonist accompanying the narrative. I think it’s for tourists but it’s funnier if you know the city yourself. Like where she explains that the sidewalks of NYC are a think shell covering a vast honeycomb of pipes and tunnels which is something you really don’t want to think about.
Roz explains the city’s street system – the grid system and uptown and downtown and she seems to like the random buildings in New York that have different businesses on different floors, you know, like very busy buildings with a dentist on one floor, a shoe store on another, a hat store on another and they are all displayed in the front windows as you look at the building from top to bottom.
She prefers cities to nature and she really gets into the city. It’s a funny book, and great for a person who loves New York City. You can see more about it her at Amazon.