Live via Zoom:
Monday, April 19, 7:30 PM
Joshua Jelly-Schapiro presents Names of New York: Discovering the City's Past, Present, and Future Through Its Place-Names
In conversation with Matt Weiland
Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, author of Island People and co-creator of Nonstop Metropolis, returns to Greenlight (virtually!) to present his new book, Names of New York, a fascinating journey into the past, present, and future of New York City. Drawing on his background in cultural geography, Jelly-Schapiro excavates the wealth of stories that are embedded in New York City’s place-names and uses them to illuminate the power of naming to shape experience and our sense of place. He traces the ways in which the native Lenape, the Dutch settlers, the British invaders, and successive waves of immigrants have all left their marks on the city and continue to reshape it. As immigrants and marginalized groups continue to find new ways to make New York’s streets and boroughs their own, the names that adhere to the landscape function not only as portals to explore the past but also as a means to reimagine what is possible now. Jelly-Schapiro is joined in conversation by Matt Weiland, an editor and longtime Greenlight neighbor who wrote the introduction to the NYRB Classics reissue of George R. Stewart’s Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States.