A story-filled portrait of the vibrant metropolis, New York: From Mannahatta to Ground Zero blends historical account, essay and reportage to produce a companion for a curious explorer. RIttenhouse leads us through the history of the city -- spanning from the voyage of Henry Hudson and the Dutch settlement on the island of Mannahatta to the dazzling billboards of contemporary Times Square and the reconstruction of Ground Zero. Her accounts combine cultural, intellectual, financial and economic history of New York with its architecture and urban planning, fashion and entertainment, religion and politics. Rittenhouse's narration is full of facts yet it embraces unforgettable energy, diversity, and creativity of Manhattan. As she examines a city full of contrasts, trying to conjure up its atmosphere, she moves back and forth in time, constantly changing her lenses -- looking at wider context, then focusing on minute details of everyday life. Her explorations are organized around themes and places rather than chronologically, as one might experience during long walks. Way more than a standard traveler's guide, it's a great introduction to a fascinating city. 



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  • Rittenhouse’s book may inspire a trip, may make a trip more rewarding, well, it may even replace it. Her erudition is equaled by her superb style.  (Marek Karpiński, Książki)

  • Rittenhouse leads readers through her stories with confidence and expertise, she reveals little secrets of the big city with discernment and charm.  (Dariusz Fedor, Kontynenty)


  • In the urbanistic visions, Rittenhouse is searching for a human perspective. While Koolhaas views buildings as manifestations of someone’s intentions and aspirations, she actually investigates what happens inside. She subjects his theories to the litmus test of the everyday and provides some kind of evidence, both historical and contemporary. (Paulina Wilk, Magazyn Literacki. Tygodnik Powszechny)


  • „New York” is such an intense book, so full of interesting facts, suggestive descriptions, so well documented, that while reading it one may feel they are already visiting the city – they will be equally overwhelmed, dazzled, enchanted.  (Grzegorz Wysocki, Gazeta Wyborcza)


  • Each chapter of Rittenhouse’s book immediately inspired me to start exploring places that she described with such erudition. I like books that make me go out. (Mariusz Szczygieł, Duży Format. Gazeta Wyborcza)


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1.     Port: In the Center of the World

2.     Wall: Wall Street

3.     Melting Pot: Stretch of Imagination





4.     Brooklyn Bridge: Walking Towards Your Dreams

5.     Skyscrapers: Every Inch Tall and Soaring

6.     Schmatta district: Dress from a Microwave Oven

7.     High Line: Wilderness of the Weeds

8.     Strand: Eighteen Miles of Books

9.     Banker’s Library: Beautiful Objects from all over the World

10.  Portion of Gold: Touching the Tangible

11.  Occupy Wall Street: Knots of Contrariety

12.  New York Public Library: To Change Somebody’s Life

13.  Central Park: Between Heaven and Earth

14.  Grand Central: Beautiful Moment of the Day





15.  Knickerbocker’s Trick: Theories Diverse and Ingenious

16.  New Yorker: Dose of Enlightement 

17.  Moth: Stories Trembling with Life

18.  Poses:  Necessary Fictions

19.  Cowboy with aBucket of Paint: Is it For Real?

20.  Convoluted Past: Leaving my Alleys

21.  Synagogue in Chinatown: On the Ropes from Heaven

22.  Mosque at Ground Zero: Mending the Horizon





23.  Broadway: Unspeakable Show and Lesson

24.  Times Square: Lights Imprisoned in Glass






Published by Czarne, Wołowiec,  2013.