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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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06/28/2008 Archived Entry: "Book Review: eat.shop nyc"

eat.shop nyc: the indispensable guide to inspired locally owned eating and shopping establishments in the five boroughs.
Written by Kaie Wellman, Agnes Baddoo, Anna H. Blessing, Jan Faust, and Jon Hart
Published by Cabazon Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-9789588-3-1

Review by Linda Yau

Upon visiting an infamous and unfamiliar city, to be a smart traveler is to have already conducted a prior research or pick up travel guides like eat.shop nyc is introducing. Now travel guides are a dime a dozen, especially for visiting New York City, this book appears to be a supplement to the already booming travel books market alongside the Lonely Planet or Times Out series. The highlight of this book though is the introduction to locally owned establishments worth visiting if you are a backpack traveler and in search for good experiences in food and shopping. To use this book is to support promoting local business and any publicity can help sustain the local culture of establishments.

eat.shop nyc is pocketbook size with pages reserved for any personal written notes. At the beginning of the book as a semi-prologue, there is a master list breakdown for what neighborhood locations were visited in the city. A page that would indicate the neighborhood's boundaries, where did one community began and ended and hotel locations to rest at if there are too many places to try and explore.

The prologue has mentioned of some attractions beyond eating and shopping and closes with a list of the top twenty favorite things to do in this trip of exploring places. The author has also raised the availability of the website as being a supplement to this small book. She has much praise on the usefulness of the public transportation system that NYC has.

Locations in this book were chosen based on four premises. One was of the writers comfortable in the location, two there are no commercial public relations. Three were the owners were passionate about what they did and lastly did the shop last in the constantly changing cultural landscape of New York City.

The shops and eateries are separated in two sections with each location being alphabetically arranged by title. On the entries of each location at the left side of each entry there were directions to each location via public transportation and store hours with contact information to the featured spot. A short history of when did the location open, who the owner were and what the store mainly sold. On the right side there were tasteful contemporary photos that reflected the sights, sounds and attractions of the shop, with personal notes from the writers of this book and a suggested list to drink or eat if the shop was an eatery and if the store was a shopping location and product suggestions.

There are several downsides to this book and one is the valid life time of this book. Travel books are updated frequently and as the authors have also pointed out stores may close down without any warning, so this book may be date within a year of publications. Another point to indicate is the amount of shops located at trendy spots or revitalized (gentrified) locations indicated, what's to say that they won't try to charge tourist rate prices? As a New Yorker I have gone to some of these spots myself, but have often chosen another location in that same area based on the tourists prices that the store is charging. As a bargaining consumer, these spots featured have realized their worth and is catering people able to travel and if that is the case this book is good as a beginner's guide to refer back on.

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