Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Race Underground: Boston, New York and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway by Doug Most

The path from horse-drawn carriages in the late nineteenth century to electric subways was not always a linear solution, nor was it easy. Relief from congestion in Boston and New York, two of the country's early-growth cities, was to be the metaphorical “light at the end of the tunnel.” It is interesting that today, any grander agenda for the expansion of subways -- or public transportation in general -- seems to have taken the back burner, superseded by Americans' love of the automobile. 

Nevertheless Doug Most's chronicle of how the subways got their start in two of the most dynamic metropolises in the United States makes for riveting and compelling reading. Highly recommended, especially for history geeks.

Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture

The empty plate on the cover of Anything Moves is fitting for the blank canvas possibilities today’s world of food presents. As New Yorker writer, Dana Goodyear shows us, there are many who are pushing the boundaries of what to present on a plate and how. Atomized lavender anyone? 

The book is mostly Goodyear’s reporting pieces from The New Yorker cobbled together and the lack of a cohesiveness to the entire volume, sometimes peeks through. Nevertheless this is an infinitely engaging and delicious look at avante-garde cuisine in the United States and the players and foodies who make it happen. 

A longer review of this book is at BookBrowse.com