I Never Knew That About New York – Review and giveaway (contest ended)

March 6, 2014
I Never Knew That About New York

I Never Knew That About New York by Christopher Winn

Congratulations to the winner of I Never Knew That About New York, Michele Peterson!

Whether you are a visitor to the city or a native New Yorker, you’ll enjoy browsing through Christopher Winn’s newest book: I Never Knew That About New York (Plume, 2014).

Between its yellow-taxi-colored covers, the 288-page paperback is filled with interesting, informative, and little known bits of history and trivia that will enrich any reader’s understanding of the city. The content reaches back in time but also includes information as current as the effects on the city of Hurricane Sandy. You can’t help but be astounded by how much has happened here over 400 years and all that’s been captured by the author. A few examples:

  • Most visitors don’t know that while the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, its pedestal composed of 24,000 tons of concrete was built and paid for here.
  • If you pass by No. 153 Broadway, you may want to linger: This address was once the location of the first moving picture ever shown to a paying audience.
  • On the Lower East Side, you can visit the site of the oldest clothing retailer in America. Brooks Brothers opened its doors here in 1818 at the corner of Cherry and Catherine Streets.
  • Did you know that all distances to and from the city are officially calculated to and from Columbus Circle?
  • One last example: Wouldn’t it be fun to sip a cappuccino at Café Reggio in Greenwich Village? The  first café in America to serve the European import, it’s been featured in The Godfather II, Serpico and Shaft.

The discoveries go on and on, block-by-block, neighborhood-by-neighborhood…

Although the book can also be read in an armchair (or on a treadmill in its Kindle edition), it is organized as a walking guide with discrete chapters devoted to various neighborhoods. Each one cleverly starts and ends at a subway station but the chapters don’t necessarily have to be read or followed in order.

The book is the latest addition to a popular series by this English author, who has been collecting trivia for more than two decades. He is married to artist Mai Osawa who has done a beautiful job with black and white illustrations.


The publisher (Plume) has agreed to give a copy of the book to one lucky reader of More Time to Travel.

For a chance to win, leave a comment below: Either mention your favorite spot in NYC or if you haven’t yet visited the city that never sleeps, tell why you would like to visit.

The contest ends at midnight EST on April 1, 2014. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on April 2. (Sorry, this offer is limited to U.S. mailing addresses only.)

I Never Knew That About New York is available for pre-order from Amazon in advance of its March 25, 2014 publication.

Disclosure: We were provided with a sample of this product for review but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.


  • Reply
    Brittany Ruth
    March 6, 2014 at 7:59 am

    My favorite spot is anywhere getting sushi! It’s so good there!

  • Reply
    Kate Walter
    March 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Favorite spots: Hudson River Park & Governor’s Island.

    Cafe Reggio is also featured in the movie Inside Llewyn David.

  • Reply
    Faye Heffele
    March 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

    My girlfriend Julie and I have been talking for a long time about taking a trip to NY. We would love to be in the audience for a Rachael Ray show, plus hit Times Square!

    • Reply
      Kate Walter
      March 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      FWIW, people who live here avoid Times Square.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Even though I’m a native New-Yorka, I’d love to own this book. When I visit, as not to become jaded, I pretend I am seeing the city through the eyes of a tourist – and it’s so much richer. Especially one of my favorite spots, Grand Central. What a beautiful restoration.

  • Reply
    Liz Grover
    March 7, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I live in Pennsylvania and had visited New York however my son goes to school in New York and will be working in New York in the summer and I would love to be able to give him this book as a graduation present to know more about where he will be living his new digs thanks

  • Reply
    Madagascar holidays
    March 10, 2014 at 9:06 am

    New York is on my wish list. I’ll surely take a time to read this book entitled I Never Knew That About New York (Plume, 2014).

  • Reply
    March 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Soho wonderful neighborhood stores food.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Love Rockefeller Center.

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    March 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Irene: I would absolutely LOVE to win a copy of this book! I have only been to NYC one time, and that was for a week in 2000. I am hoping to go there in the next couple of months to investigate the artisanal chocolate scene in the Big Apple, so it would be very timely for me to win this interesting book. Thanks in advance!

  • Reply
    Patti Morrow
    March 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I used to go to NYC quite a bit when I lived in New England. The thing that first comes to mind right now is shopping on Canal Street with my teenage daughter as part of our annual back-to-school shopping weekend. She was an awesome bargainer and we always had such fun weekends!

  • Reply
    Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it
    March 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    We went to NYC on our honeymoon and had a blast at Coney Island. Also I’d love to revisit Time Square and Radio City Music Hall. The book sounds so intriguing cause I love trivia.

  • Reply
    Donna Janke
    March 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I have never visited New York, but would like to. I’d like to see Broadway shows, experience the busyness I see in the movies, and discover all the unique neighborhoods.

  • Reply
    Michele Peterson
    March 13, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I love that this book is organized so that entries start and end at a subway station. That would make it really handy from my perspective.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Having never been to NYC (sad but true), this looks like the perfect planning tool 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzanne Fluhr
    March 14, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I’m a Philadelphian. My hometown is only 100 miles from New York City—an hour and 15 minute train ride, but I am completely intimidated by the city. However, I’m a history buff, so this sounds like a book that would make me want to improve my “attytude” about the Big Apple.

  • Reply
    Heather - the kiwi travel writer
    March 15, 2014 at 5:00 am

    I’m not eligible … down under in New Zealand but wanted to say I loved much of the city … but especially central park ..I was there for the blizzard of 96!

  • Reply
    Mike (Nomadic Texan)
    March 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Although I haven’t been to NYC in quite a while I will be there next summer to speak at a conference for inner city children that will teach them about travel. Its called “A world Beyond Youth Exploration”. My favorite thing is and always has been the food. There’s Katz’s Deli, Otto’s pizza and The Old Homestead Steakhouse. I am drooling now! Thanks.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Would love to explore NYC with such a guide in hand. Love the trivia aspect!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2014 at 11:23 am

    On our last trip we visited the High Line Park for the first time. It is a new gem worth seeing.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Would spend a few hours in the Frick-love NYC!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Love the MET especially the gift shop.

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