Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pocket size nav guide

Title: Not For Tourists Guide: New York City 2008
Author: Various
Publisher: Not For Tourists, Inc.
Date Published: 2007
Printed: China
ISBN: 978-0-9793945-2-2
List: $15.95
Paid: $10.00

Date 06/07/2008
n/w?: Want

Comment: I bought my first Not For Tourists Guide back in early 2006, it was for NYC then—and though I live in Chicago—it's for NYC now. I've visited Manhattan more than any other city that I've not lived in. I had a poster of the city hanging over my bed throughout highschool and I had planned on moving there after graduating from design school. I made frequent weekend trips, via the Chinatown bus, while in college and I loved every moment of them. However, my plans have been very organic and I've had the pleasure (minus this past winter) of living in some of our countries other great cities. That doesn't mean I've lost sight of the Big Apple, NYC is still in my future (*cough* jobs anyone?).

If you've never used an NFT Guide, check one out next time you are at the book store. The information design is incredible. Each neighborhood is broken down into three maps, each one highlights a different type of infrastructure (entertainment, essentials, and transportation). This keeps the maps uncluttered and legible. There is also a fold out map of the subway in the back. The books are called Not For Tourists because—unlike tourist guides—there are no photos of landmarks or instructions on how you should explore the city. It's a functional tool to help navigate the city yourself. I had planned on buying this before my last two trips to NYC, but always remembered before it was too late to order on Amazon (I wanted to save a few bucks). But this weekend I was at the Printer's Row Book Fair (where I got to meet Rob Walker) and they were being sold for $10, so I took advantage of the savings (and avoided the unnecessary shipping). It does bother me that NYC is the only book that fits in your pocket. When I asked about the sizing of them, I was told that it has to do with relative area of the city (which makes sense) and that the LA book is the largest because it's meant to be more of an auto resource, since no body leaves their vehicles there. It's good to have this back for future trips to NY.

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