Review: Life in New York: How I Learned to Love Squeegee Men, Token Suckers, Trash Twisters, and Subway Sharks by Laura Pedersen

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Originally from Buffalo, NY, friends thought the seventeen-year-old was suffering from blizzard delirium when she left for Manhattan. Pedersen experiences her adopted city in the best and worst of times while becoming the youngest person to have a seat on the stock exchange, performing stand-up comedy, and writing a column in the New York Times. Neighborhoods that feature chai bars, Pilates studios, and Gymboree were once drug dens, ganglands, and shantytowns. A trip to Central Park often ended in Central Booking, identifying a perp in a lineup.

New Yorkers are as diverse as the city they so colorfully inhabit, cautious but generous, brash but welcoming. Both are captured through the comedic eye of Pedersen. Enjoy an uproarious romp down memory lane as the city emerges as the modern metropolis we know today.

Pedersen takes the reader on a interesting historical and humorous tour of New York City with its distinctive idiosyncrasies and uniqueness making this accepting patchwork city the pulse of America.

Pedersen shares her observations and evolvement with special interest focused on the 80’s not excluding stepping back in time to colonial days while dipping into current times.

I found myself laughing out loud often as I read Pedersen’s descriptions and comments on varying identifiers one associates to New York. If you’re familiar with New York or if you’ve ever wanted to visit – Pedersen’s ‘travelogue’ will entertain you as well as inspire a trip to this maniacal, quirky, vibrant city to see for yourself or reexperience the energy. Her no holds barred style is spot on describing all the calm and chaos of this one of a kind city.

“The one constant throughout New York City’s history has been its ability to change,adapt, and reinvent itself. Restless energy is a defining characteristic.”

A wonderfully written history of New York covering all the bases from the subway system, fashion, graffiti to Wall Street, the many offbeat illuminating facts are eye openers. Pedersen’s comedic gift really made this read a memorable journey on the authentic New York only a ‘local’ could provide. Thanks to Pedersen I feel like an almost honorary New Yorker.

About Laura PedersenLaura Pedersen Photo

Laura Pedersen is an author, humorist, and playwright. She was also the youngest person at age twenty to have a seat on the American Stock Exchange, while earning a finance degree at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She wrote for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Beginner’s Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Planes Trains, and Auto-Rickshaws, Buffalo Gal and Buffalo Unbound. Her play For Heaven’s Sake! recently completed a run in Buffalo, having been performed Off-Broadway in 2014 under the title The Brightness of Heaven. Her website is LauraPedersenBooks.com.

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Paperback, 200 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by Fulcrum Publishing (first published April 28th 2015)
ISBN13: 9781936218158

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