No Place for Normal: New York
Mill City Press, Inc. (2015)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (03/16)
“No Place for Normal: New York” by Clifford Browder is a delightful treasure chest full of short stories about New York City. Readers are regaled with tales about city icons - from street characters to celebrities, famous restaurants, and tourist locations such as Greenwich Village, Union Square, and Central Park, rounded out with tales of inspiration, adventure, drama, and nightlife. New York City has no room for anything normal - the more eccentric, different, weird, and astonishing, the better. It is undeniably the most unique city in America, as demonstrated in these great stories.
Although a transplanted Texan of many years, my hometown is Saratoga Springs, New York. That noted, I must say that one of my favorite stories in the book is “Upstate vs. Downstate: The Great Dichotomy.” Even as a child, I remember when people asked me where I was from I would always respond “Upstate New York” as opposed to just “New York,” clearly wanting to establish the difference in the inquirer’s mind. I don’t recall how that was ever ingrained so deeply in my mind; even so, I can’t imagine what would have happened if NYC had succeeded in seceding from the state!
I believe one of the most interesting stories in the book is on the back cover. I found the author’s short bio to be an interesting story in and of itself. Browder, a writer and retired freelance editor, resides above the Magnolia Bakery – you know, the Sex and the City Magnolia Bakery! He has never owned a car or a television, and in his own words, “shuns the cell phone and tolerates the computer!” Living in New York City – unplugged? Now that’s a story!
I thoroughly enjoyed “No Place for Normal: New York” by Clifford Browder and highly recommend it to all fans of entertaining short stories and lovers of New York City. It would also make an interesting travel guide for people who just want to learn more about the city that never sleeps!