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The Brooklyn Nobody Knows:
An Urban Walking Guide
William B. Helmreich

2017 Finalist in Regional, ForeWord Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards

Paperback with French flaps | 2016 | $24.95 | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691166827
424 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 | 44 halftones. 45 maps.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400883127 |
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William Helmreich on CBS Sunday Morning
William Helmreich on WNET-13 Metrofocus
A Q&A with William B. Helmreich

The Brooklyn Nobody Knows Book Trailer

Bill Helmreich walked every block of New York City—6,000 miles in all—to write the award-winning The New York Nobody Knows. Now he has re-walked Brooklyn—some 816 miles—to write this one-of-a-kind walking guide to the city's hottest borough. Drawing on hundreds of conversations he had with residents during his block-by-block journeys, The Brooklyn Nobody Knows captures the heart and soul of a diverse, booming, and constantly changing borough that defines cool around the world. The guide covers every one of Brooklyn’s forty-four neighborhoods, from Greenpoint to Coney Island, providing a colorful portrait of each section’s most interesting, unusual, and unknown people, places, and things. Along the way you will learn about a Greenpoint park devoted to plants and trees that produce materials used in industry; a hornsmith who practices his craft in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens; a collection of 1,140 stuffed animals hanging from a tree in Bergen Beach; a five-story Brownsville mural that depicts Zionist leader Theodor Herzl—and that was the brainchild of black teenagers; Brooklyn’s most private—yet public—beach in Manhattan Beach; and much, much more. An unforgettably vivid chronicle of today’s Brooklyn, the book can also be enjoyed without ever leaving home—but it’s almost guaranteed to inspire you to get out and explore one of the most fascinating urban areas anywhere.

  • Covers every one of Brooklyn’s 44 neighborhoods, providing a colorful portrait of their most interesting, unusual, and unknown people, places, and things
  • Each neighborhood section features a brief overview and history; a detailed, user-friendly map keyed to the text; and a lively guided walking tour
  • Draws on the author’s 816-mile walk through every Brooklyn neighborhood
  • Includes insights from conversations with hundreds of residents

William B. Helmreich is the author of many books, including The New York Nobody Knows (Princeton), which won the inaugural 2014–15 Guides Association of New York Award for Outstanding Achievement in Book Writing. He is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the City College of New York's Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and at CUNY Graduate Center. The Brooklyn Nobody Knows is the first of five planned walking guides, one for each borough of New York City.


"Helmreich’s chatty Baedeker is a hefty, multifaceted deep dive into New York’s popular and most populous borough. He trekked 816 miles from Greenpoint to Cypress Hills, organizing the borough’s 71 square miles into 44 communities along the way. New Yorkers and tourists alike can discover the borough’s only Cambodian temple, a 1652 farmhouse described as the city’s oldest surviving structure and a former mansion transformed into an inn in Bedford-Stuyvesant."--Sam Roberts, New York Times

"Even Brooklyn residents will learn something new in this inclusive book, the first of five planned New York City walking guides. . . . Helmreich's narrative focuses on the unusual and unknown, providing street maps . . . of Brooklyn's 44 distinct neighborhoods, equaling 71 square miles. . . . Crisp pictures, such as those of Mrs. Maxwell's Bakery--New York's largest party cake store--safety tips, and an impressive bibliography are welcome additions to an appealing work for locals, tourists, and urban explorers."--Library Journal

"Both a sit-and-read title and one to consult on the go, Helmreich's guide is chock-full of Brooklyn-insider details from the author's own extensive walking explorations. It's the first of five planned volumes, one for each New York City borough."--Booklist

"Helmreich's upbeat book is built around walking Brooklyn's streets day and night, and also talking to people he encounters. He sees Brooklyn as diverse and ever changing. . . . From Greenpoint to Coney Island, every section is given a chapter, with Helmreich focusing on less known aspects of these neighborhoods."--Leonard Quart, Berkshire Eagle

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    File created: 9/7/2017

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