It's just a narrow island, only 22 square miles. But it's so much bigger than that. Now, in this album of period photos and first-person reminiscences, you can experience the mosaic of midcentury Manhattan from Altman's to Zabar's -East Side, West Side, and all around the town. Ranging from the early post-World War II years to the mid-1970s when the city nearly went bust -and featuring interviews with such New York luminaries as Jimmy Breslin, Bill Gallo, Monte Irvin, Robert Merrill, Herman Badillo, Elaine Kaufman, Jerry Della Femmina, and Pauline Trigere, plus the everyday people who form the hustle and bustle of the city's daily life -this book will bring you back to a glorious era when the great ocean liners still docked in the Hudson River ports; when Checker cabs hurtled across a two-way Fifth Avenue; when eleven daily newspapers covered the city beat; when young women hurried to their Katharine Gibbs classes in pumps and white gloves; when the Third Avenue el cast long shadows on the street. It will take you to Soho before it had a name, and the Brill Building when it was home to Tin Pan Alley songwriters. It will recreate the experience of childhood in Harlem and the Lower East Side, visit the Garden, the garment district, and Greenwich Village, and bring to mind the throbbing music of 52nd Street jazz joints and the Fillmore East, the taste of a Ratner's onion roll and a chocolate egg cream; the aroma wafting from Little Italy's trattorias and the rumble of the subway from beneath the sidewalk grates. For anyone who grew up in or near "the city" -or fell in love with New York as an adult -this unique history, filled with vintage photos, is a compelling read…and a powerful testament to the indescribable mystique of magical, memorable Manhattan.