*The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City*

The author is the excellent Alan Ehrenhalt, here is one bit:

Walking the streets of the Financial District today, one can’t help but think that it is, indeed, a throwback to an earlier version of the city’s life.  But not to the Wall Street of a century ago: That was an economically segregated one-use neighborhood, with offices and virtually nothing else, no residents, hardly a place to shop, only a handful of restaurants to cater to the financial workforce.

But look back farther than that, and you begin to see a resemblance.  In some ways, lower Manhattan in the early twenty-first century has come to resemble lower Manhattan in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth: brokers, investors, and insurance agents who live in the neighborhood and walk to work; a social life that does not disappear at quitting time, the way it did twenty years ago; a modest but growing number of families with young children.  Ron Chernow offers a picture of this early lower Manhattan in his biography of Alexander Hamilton, who lived there both as a college student and as a young lawyer.

Recommended, you can buy it here.


Comments for this post are closed