Saturday, September 5, 2015
Life in New York: How I Learned to Love Squeegee Men, Token Suckers, Trash Twisters, and Subway Sharks
Laura Pedersen, author of bestseller Play Money and award-winning Buffalo Gal, serves up a hilarious memoir about three decades of city life. Originally from Buffalo, New York, friends thought the seventeen-year-old was suffering from blizzard delirium when she left for Manhattan. Pedersen experiences her adopted city in the best and worst of times while becoming the youngest person to have a seat on the stock exchange, performing stand-up comedy, and writing a column in the New York Times. Neighborhoods that feature chai bars, Pilates studios, and Gymboree were once drug dens, ganglands, and shantytowns. A trip to Central Park often ended in Central Booking, identifying a perp in a lineup.
New Yorkers are as diverse as the city they so colorfully inhabit, cautious but generous, brash but welcoming. Both are captured through the comedic eye of Pedersen. Enjoy an uproarious romp down memory lane as the city emerges as the modern metropolis we know today.
Laura Pedersen is an author, humorist, and playwright. She was also the youngest person at age twenty to have a seat on the American Stock Exchange, while earning a finance degree at New York University's Stern School of Business. She wrote for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Beginner's Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Planes Trains, and Auto-Rickshaws, Buffalo Gal and Buffalo Unbound.
I have not heard of Laura Pedersen. However after reading this book, I will be getting to know more about Laura Pedersen. This book does showcase some of Laura's comedic side. I found myself chuckling a few times through out the book. In fact, some passages were so funny that I had to re-read them again.
For example: When Laura talks about the squeegee men and that it was surprising that Stephen King had not written the book "Squeegee Man: Vengeance at the Midtown Tunnel". Jaywalking is an art form, wearing pajamas out in public is fine in New York, in Chelsea it's a fashion statement, Upper West Side your crazy, Upper East Side your considered eccentric, Village-your's just one of the people, and in Little Italy you could plead insanity. There is Laura's time when she was renting early on in her life that was near a Ferris wheel and she flashed people (which is not uncommon to see naked people in the city). Anyways Laura said she could not tell if the ticket sales went up or down due to her peep show as she did not receive a cut of the profit from the ticket sales.
After reading this book I feel like I could call myself a New Yorker. I loved reading the history and seeing the progression of times from past to present.