Hello, New York: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Five Boroughs

This memoir-travel guide mashup (143 pages) was published in March of 2014 by Chronicle Books. The book takes you to every corner of NYC. David read Hello, New York and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if he didn't recommend it.


Hello, New York

An Illustrated Love Letter to the Five Boroughs

Julia Rothman

Julia Rothman is an artist, author, and native New Yorker (Shout out to the Bronx!). She brings all of her skills and experience in the city to this funny, personal, illustrated memoir.

Rothman’s images are friendly and welcoming — think sophistication merged with classic cartooning. The New York Times called her for their Sunday piece on dogs in the city. Every image invites you to look a little closer and will make you eager to walk city streets to explore the shops and nooks that inspired her work.

The story begins in City Island, her hometown, with a vivid description of what it was like to grow up there (and a bonus recommendation for where to eat the best shrimp and chips on the island). The rest of the book unfolds like a fantastic, leisurely walk around New York with her.

She shares vivid stories about her favorite places and suggests what you might want to do or eat when you visit. She stops by the New York Public Library to talk to a librarian in the Rare Books division. When her virtual tour arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she lists the treasures she would love to take home from the Met and how she would display them.

Like the Met, some of the places she visits are massive and well-known; others are small and personal and would be easy to overlook. Hidden inside Grand Central Station is the Campbell Bar. It was once the office of a financier, but it’s now a swanky cocktail bar restored to its 1920s heyday with a hand-painted ceiling and welcoming (enormous) fireplace. Also tempting for discerning shoppers is Moscot, an eyeglasses store specializing in classic frames. It’s made the faces of New Yorkers look cool(er) for more than 100 years.

The whole book is sprinkled with gems like these to delight native New Yorkers and visitors — all in the company of a charming guide.

I am comforted surrounded by people, clutter, culture, noise, and excitement. Walking around in New York presents a variety of opportunities: Maybe you’ll run into your childhood friend, with whom you’ve had no contact for twenty-six years; maybe you’ll come across an organized pillow fight that fills Union Square; maybe you’ll share a taxi with a man whom you read about in the newspaper the next day; maybe you’ll try avocado flavored ice cream. (All of these things happened to me recently.) I heart NY. — Julia Rothman

illustration of yellow taxi cabs through the ages

illustration of ellis island

illustration of typical new york city bodega

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