At this time, I find no better way to honor the great NYC than Matteo Pericoli's "Manhattan Unfurled." The fold-out pages (22 feet in length!) explicitly, accurately, beautifully, and lovingly picture the unspeakably west and east shorelines of Manhattan--including the to-be-forever missed "Twin Towers." While viewing the drawn shoreline views, including renderings of the burrough's historically important bridges, I remember fondly those several times, as a fomer resident of NYC in the early 70's, riding on the slow and lumbering Circle Line Cruise and enjoying the splendor of the island's magnificent architecture. This book, so ingeniously created, should be in every library, and would be just the perfect book to be presented to the individual who dare asks, "Why would anyone want to live in New York City?". Thank you, Matteo Pericoli, for offering to the reading public one of the finest and perfectly conceived books in many a year. You are to be commended, and lauded for allowing many the opportunity to enjoy a unique view of such a beloved city as NYC. My only personal disappointment is that I will never have the opportunity for the author/artist to sign my prized copy!!
"Manhattan Unfurled" is a beautiful and unique look at the island of Manhattan. Deceptively simple in appearance, one is quite amazed as the Manhattan skyline truly unfurls in two continuous pen-and-ink drawings stretching 22 feet each! If you do not have the room to fully open it up, you can flip 24 accordion-style pages. Work your way up and down Manhattan's East and West sides, from small collections of apartment buildings to dense clusters of skyscrapers. It took Matteo Pericoli, an Italian-born architect and illustrator, two-and-a-half years to create this incredible work of art. Also included in a quite nice heavy cardboard slipcase is an essay by Paul Goldberger (an architecture critic for The New Yorker) and a handy guide pointing out famous (and not so famous) landmarks for those who may not be intimately familiar with one of the world's great skylines.
Although published in October 2001, the book of course features Pericoli's rendition of the World Trade Center. While it is bittersweet and startling to see the towers even today, "Manhattan Unfurled" ultimately becomes (albeit unintentionally) a wonderful and loving tribute to the skyline that many of us will never forget. Amid all the discussion of the removal of the WTC towers from movies and television, some have said in doing so is like removing a grandparent from a family photo. Just because they are gone, does not mean we should forget or tuck them away. Pericoli's work will certainly be a treasure to look back on for many years to come.
A great gift for your favorite New Yorker, art lover, artist or architect in your life -- even if that happens to be you!