I watched Cloverfield last night, and I loved it, partly for the reasons that Tyler Cowen gives but also because it is such a great portrayal of lower Manhattan. The more I think about, the more convinced I become that  routinely portraying its destruction or descent into chaos is the greatest flattery you can pay a city.

Cloverfield actually spurred me to pick up and delve back into Luc Sante’s Low Life, his rough-love history of New York’s seedier sides. Re-reading the first hundred pages, I now realise how much of a debt Sante is owed by Richard Price for Lush Life, which I just finished and highly recommend.

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