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Front Page - New York City Book Reviews
Garden of Dreams: Madison Square Garden 125 Years

Please select edition to check the price:
     Hardcover Book
Garden of Dreams
Hardcover Book (Nov. 1, 2004)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
ISBN: 1584793430

Woody Allen usually includes one familiar character in his movies: New York City. Bustling with life, the city naturally draws world-wide attention for many events. New Yorkers expect top entertainment talent from around the world to visit them, and one of the most famous and enduring venues for such events is Madison Square Garden.

The Garden, as it is often called, sprang up in 1879 as a place for the community to congregate for early sports and entertainment events. P.T. Barnum's circuses were the first to breathe life into it. By the 1900s, the big venue was boxing.

In the 224 page Garden of Dreams, Pete Hamill pens an informative and well-written history of the various buildings and land areas which have carried the name. This intersting chronicle is one of the city's many interesting stories.

The 1888 Garden was designed by the dashing architect Stanford White, whose energetic and scandalous life is dramatically recounted in E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime and in films like The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing.

The Garden endured through the New York of the 1920s and 30s, during the high rolling times of Prohibition and the Great Depression. Hamill also discusses its history as it relates to Penn Station.

After this opening chapter are eleven sections depicting photographs of many of the many dramatic events which have occurred there. From the Ali-Frazier Fight of the Century in 1971 to the Rangers first championship win in fifty years in 1994. There are photographs showing Marilyn Monroe's legendary rendition of "Happy Birthday" for President Kennedy to John Lennon's last concert appearance.

Since 1966, the Garden's official photographer George Kalinsky has recorded many of these memorable moments. For the book, Kalinsky mines his rich collection for 150 photographs. A first class photographer, many of the images are immediately recognizable, candid shots that earlier made lasting impressions.

Between the photos are interesting essays from Allen, as well as Billy Crystal, Christopher Reave, Spike Lee, Joan Jett, George Foreman and Bill Bradley.

Together with numerous archival photos, this coffee table book makes an easy conversation piece.

The storied past, celebrity reminisces, and brilliant photographs combine to remind readers why the Madison Square Garden evokes powerful emotions for New York residents and visitors alike.

Please select edition to check the price:
     Hardcover Book

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