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Dropsie Avenue by Will Eisner

If you like comics (or Sequential Art, as Eisner likes to call it), and even if you don't, check out Will Eisner's Dropsie Avenue.  It gives an intriguing look into the life cycle of a single New York neighborhood.  It covers over 100 years of the life of a street in the South Bronx, starting with a Dutch farming family complaining about the English moving in next door, through the 1970's, when (according to Eisner in the introduction),  over 60,000 fires were reported between 1975 and 1980 (read the book to find out why).

My wife and I lived just a year in Brooklyn, but this book filled in for me a lot of the reasons why NY neighborhoods are the way they are.

It's funny, sad, touching, encouraging and frustrating.  I highly recommend picking it up at your local comics store.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, June 26, 2003

A lot of people complain about the Russian influx in my area... A lot of Italians and Irish who forget what it must've been like for them when they first arrived and displaced whoever was here before them. It's weird how you get something like a Chinatown and a Little Italy - which basically serve the same cultural purpose - or served.

Thanks for the tip - I assume this is a perrenial and not a new title?
Friday, June 27, 2003

"Thanks for the tip - I assume this is a perrenial and not a new title?"

Right, it came out in the 80's some time.

In my traditionally Italian Brooklyn neighborhood, we heard complaints about the influx of Chinese into the neighborhood from the (Caucasian) old timers.  Then a second generation Chinese-American landlord not-so-subtly let on that he was careful about letting blacks live in his properties.

That's why I found Dropsie Avenue so fascinating; it covers 100 years of that cycle happening over and over again.

Jim Rankin
Friday, June 27, 2003

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