For an authentic tour of Manhattan, try following a map of love and hate, bizarre relationships, or perhaps even lost gloves. Author Becky Cooper brings a collaborative art project that has inspired many New Yorkers to share their varied emotions about the city. Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps is the book featuring 75 maps filled in by strangers, hopeless romantics, and street vendors, among others.
To celebrate the publication of Mapping Manhattan, CultureNOW is hosting an event to benefit Summer 2013 Internship Programs on Monday, April 15 from 6:00-8:00pm at architecture firm Snøhetta’s offices.
Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Cooper went from Marble Hill to Downtown and distributed thousands of letterpress-printed outlines of the borough and asked New Yorkers to complete the maps and mail them back to her. At the time, little did she know that people would reveal so much about themselves to her and that her P.O. box would be overflowing with a cartography of illustrated autobiographies. Cooper told the New York Post she sought out “people who were open to the world—without headphones, curious.” She was able to get down to the nitty gritty and uncovered true accounts of the city. The book also collects maps from notable New Yorkers including Man on Wire aerialist Philippe Petit and New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov, and several more. Cooper’s inspiration began while studying at Harvard and after she completed a 2007 internship at CultureNOW, a nonprofit formed after 9/11, where she created a map of Manhattan’s public art spaces.