City Walks Architecture: New York, unboxed!

City Walks Architecture: New York

Exactly one year ago today, I was on Staten Island, re-walking the 25th and final route in a New York architectural walking guide I researched, photographed and wrote over the course of last summer. Just one short year later, City Walks Architecture: New York (Gelatobaby readers can use ARCH-NY for a 25% discount!) has appeared on my doorstep, thanks to my editor Christina Henry de Tessan and the wonderful folks at Chronicle Books. And what better place to unbox my baby than on that old, familiar friend…the sidewalk.

City Walks Architecture: New York

Yep, you heard me right, I said box. These are no ordinary walking tours. These come on beautifully-designed cards, perfect for plucking a few at a time and stashing in your sketchbook. And perfect, I might add for you non-natives, for not looking like a tourist.

City Walks Architecture: New York

25 tours start with the Brooklyn Bridge, winding up through the Federal buildings of Lower Manhattan all the way to the Art Moderne apartments of the Bronx, hitting many of my favorite NY buildings. Highlights include SoHo’s cast-iron beauties, the brand-new High Line, hotels in Times Square, sustainable skyscrapers, the UN, Rockefeller Center’s Art Deco, Midtown Modernism, decadent Upper West Side apartments, Central Park and the gorgeous streets of Harlem. Then we jump over to Queens and what remains of the World’s Fairs, down to Brooklyn’s brownstones, and ending of course at Staten Island, where you haven’t lived until you’ve seen those Victorians.

City Walks Architecture: New York

Each card opens to reveal directions that each begin and end at a subway station, and I tried my best to have most of the walks link together, so if you’re feeling ambitious you could walk all day. Each walk also includes a place to eat, snack or drink, and if you watch this space, I’ll also be posting all my ice cream and gelato finds from last summer—one for each walk—right here on this very blog.

City Walks Architecture: New York

And on the back are these extremely good-looking maps designed by John Spelman, which I assure you are very easy to read, even while walking. And did you notice the snappy, quite architectural box designed by Eloise Leigh? The nice illustration of the Empire State Building on the front is by Alex Palecko. And typefreaks will be happy to know that the guide is set in Scala.

City Walks Architecture: New York

I also took 16 of the photos found on the outside of the cards (you can see all my NY photos from last summer, organized by neighborhood). The rest were snapped with the awesome assistance of Chrys Wu and Sue Apfelbaum, and one by Peter Aaron (that Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library is a tough one to capture).

City Walks Architecture: New York

Yes, I would say that City Walks Architecture: New York is probably the most important deck of cards you’ll read this year. It’s currently available for preorder, with a September 2 release date. I recommend getting at least three copies. You know, in case you lose a card or something.

City Walks Architecture: New York

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, and I hope to thank you in person very soon, along with anyone else who buys a copy:  I’ll be coming to New York in the fall for a Week of Walks (which will also include talks, parties and gelatostops) to promote the book, so watch here for updates on that. In the meantime, you may want to invest in a good pair of shoes.

This entry was posted in building, City Walks, creating, designing, reading, traveling, walking. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Terry Lee Stone

    Congratulations. It looks amazing. Hope you sell a gazillion copies.

  • Melissa

    I can’t wait to get a copy and wander the streets of NYC.

  • Daniel Sofer

    Looks great Alissa!

  • Sam Harrison

    Looks even better than I imagined. And I know the writing will be as wonderful as I expect.

  • Kyla

    What a great book– and a great gift I might add. Very excited to get my copy!

  • 6000miles

    looks gorgeous, can’t wait for the los angeles edition…

  • Spencer Cross

    Looks fantastic. Congratulations!

  • Christine Hanson

    Absolutely fabulous – I need at 4 sets for friends and me, too. Congrats!

  • Alissa

    Thanks, everyone! 6000miles, I hope the LA version is coming soon. Tell Chronicle you want it! citywalks AT

  • Christopher Fahey

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to get one. I still regret never perambulating Red Hook with you last summer.

  • Chrys Wu

    Congratulations, Alissa! I was really happy to be part of the project. Looking forward to seeing you during the Week of Walks!

  • Laurie

    That is the coolest idea!! Are you going to do more cities? Or maybe you did and I missed it…

  • Michael S

    Congratulations Alissa. Seems like yesterday I was reading about your NYC wanderings. MS

  • Kendra


  • debbie millman

    Congratulations Alissa!!!!! This looks AMAZING! Can’t wait to see it!
    lovie loves!

  • Sue A.

    Oh that pesky Rose Reading Room… glad you got a pro to handle it. Big congrats!

  • Laura Holder

    Congrats, Alissa. Can’t wait to get my mits on a set, and drip some melting gelato all over the Brooklyn cards.

  • Rob

    This is fantastic, congratulations Alissa. You walk… er, rock!

  • Lydia Mann

    Congratulation Alissa – I eagerly await my Amazon pre-order!

  • joyce kaye

    WOW! Looks amazing, Alissa. Congrats!

  • Pietro

    Hi, i’m italian guy. I love your book! I want buy it. ciao ciao

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  • Justin Carroll

    Alissa– this sounds incredible. Can’t wait to get it. As usual, you’re right on target. Looks fantastic too – who designed it? Kudos!

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  • internetjobs

    This is really something I can understand. Thanks for the article I have subscribed to your rss.

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  • New York NY


    i liked your book, and i liked your article.

    thanks for this article.

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  • new york apts


    Its very knowledgeable book guys, which is very interesting and informative. I liked you book guys. 

    Thanks for it.

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