The Book of the Week is “New York in the Fifties” by Dan Wakefield, published in 1992. In this nostalgic volume, Wakefield describes the specific cultural quirks of place and time he experienced when he was in his twenties. He describes, among other interesting trivia, how he developed a strategy for securing a rented apartment in the city– a difficult undertaking, as decent apartments were snapped up as soon as they appeared in the newspaper classifieds.
Conveniently, he worked for the Village Voice, so he was privy to the classifieds as they were printed. Upon seeing an ad for an apartment that appealed to him, he would sprint to the payphone outside his employer’s office building to call the phone number in the ad.
How times have changed.