Deirdre Gartner Takes on Her Beloved New York City in New Book

Barbara Noe Kennedy


If diving into native New Yorker Deirdre Gartner’s new book, Dearest New York: A Love Letter to the Big Apple, seems like opening a paper version of an Instagram page, that’s because it’s based on the author’s high-profile Instagram and blog “Girl in the Yellow TaxiNYC.” Lush photos depicting the City That Never Sleeps draw you in, urging you to keep turning the pages.


But there’s more. In addition to the photos, there are beautiful paintings and drawings bringing the city to life: both fun, poppy vignettes and full-page watercolor depictions of foliage-draped brownstones, splashy fountains, and iconic and off-beat landmarks.


The book is divided into neighborhoods, with a special themed section, “Gems of New York,” at the end, which showcases the flower district, transit art, and Christmas in New York. In each chapter, interspersed with the photos and drawings, Gartner seems to take your hand as she describes how to spend a day or two in each neighborhood as a friend might guide you around. She provides suggestions of restaurants, museums, shops, bookstores, and parks, giving personal recommendations, such as one of her favorite things to do is “take a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram.”


Special features highlight various aspects of New York, including coffeeshops, independent bookstores, and East Village shops. There are also fun facts sprinkled throughout—did you know you’ll find a handwritten poem by Emily Dickenson and George Washington’s recipe for beer at the New York Public Library?


The East Village chapter has a checklist of things to see and do (though I would have liked to see more chapters with this feature), and there’s an illustration sharing how to spend the perfect day in Central Park (again, I wonder why only this one?). And there’s a “bucket list” for Lower Manhattan, which is adorably illustrated—but why is there only one bucket list for a single neighborhood throughout the entire book?


All that said, the most important thing are the photos, and those will keep you coming back, dipping into this neighborhood and that neighborhood, as if you’re clicking through Instagram, with the added benefit of friendly guidance on how to hit the streets like a local—certainly, one local who, as she writes in her “Love Letter to the Big Apple” at the beginning of the book: “My hope in presenting this little book is that I have captured your unique essence and beauty. You are my beloved city, with quirks aplenty like all the rest of us, yet perfect in every way.”


Yes, Deirdre, you have succeeded!



Author Bio:

Highbrow Magazine Contributing Writer Barbara Noe Kennedy is an award-winning writer and editor, who specializes in travel writing. She worked for more than 20 years for the National Geographic Book Division, and she has also written for the Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, the Los Angeles Times, and Fodor's -- in addition to penning a few books -- including 25 Joys of Paris, which was published recently. She is also a Lowell Thomas travel journalism award winner. Barbara has traveled extensively around the world and, along with her husband, is actively involved in helping Zambian students achieve their education and career goals. She writes travel articles and film reviews for Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


Image Sources:

--Globe Pequot (publisher of Dearest New York)

--Featured Slider photo:


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