Julia Wertz presents Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City

Thursday, October 26, 7:30pm

Julia Wertz presents New York as you've never seen it before in the charming and hilarious Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City.


About Tenements, Towers & Trash

Here is New York, as you've never seen it before. A perfectly charming, sidesplittingly funny, intellectually entertaining illustrated history of the blocks, the buildings, and the guts of New York City, based on Julia Wertz's popular illustrated columns in The New Yorker and Harper's.

In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist's New York-the Statue of Liberty makes a brief appearance and the Empire State Building not at all-but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes "Then and Now" and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim's Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray's Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn's Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island's secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, street cleaners, and apartments both cramped and grand, Tenements, Towers & Trash is a wild ride in a time machine taxi from the present day city to bygone days of yore.

About the Author

Julia Wertz is a professional cartoonist and amateur historian. She has published five graphic novels and does monthly history comics for The New Yorker and Harper's Magazine.


“Julia Wertz's Tenements, Towers, and Trash is nothing short of extraordinary. The meticulously researched histories of the various urban landscapes are fascinating, and Wertz's drawings perfectly capture the visual poetry of the city- the ongoing struggle between past and present, and its unique blend of beauty and ugliness. A must for anyone who loves and appreciates the city, as Wertz so clearly does."
--- Roz Chast, author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

"Richly dense and informative yet never dull or pedantic, Wertz's eye for detail and obsession with minutiae pays massive dividends for the reader. Her skill at rendering cityscapes left me breathless with admiration and gut-twisting envy. It's also funny as fuck."
--- Emily Flake, author of Mama Tried

"Julia Wertz's New York is a city of magic and mystery. Her sharply detailed illustrations bring Gotham's streets to life and reveal their secrets. Walkers and history buffs will love being part of Wertz's world."
---Esther Crain, author of The Gilded Age in New York, 1870-1910

"A completely new and refreshing way to look at New York City history. You'll be so transfixed by this book's extraordinary imagery that you may forget to turn the page!" 
--- Greg Young, author of The Bowery Boys: Adventures in Old New York

“A singular voice on a singular place." 
--- Gabrielle Bell, author of Everything Is Flammable

“New York City is a land of architectural ghosts, and Wertz (Drinking at the Movies) is a skilled and perceptive documentarian who here combines two of her talents-cartooning and urban exploration-to create a dense, informative package filled with her audacious personality. In presenting the life of the city, Wertz captures change as the most important constant trait of New York City, with a vivid eclecticism that makes this an indispensable guidebook to places lost and found.” 
--- Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In busy cartoons and archly entertaining prose, New Yorker artist Wertz (Museum of Mistakes, 2014, etc.) serves up a grandly alternative history of Gotham… A delight for New York aficionados. Every city needs a version of this artist and her book.”
--- Kirkus Reviews, starred review 

Event date: 
Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA
Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316501217
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers - October 3rd, 2017

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