GANYC Awards Ceremony Preview: Best NYC Books, Journalists and Podcasts

A history of NY in 101 ObjectsWelcome to the second day of previewing the Guides Association of New York City Awards Ceremony! Yesterday we learned a little bit about the guides who lead tours across the city. They are holding this ceremony to honor the people and organizations who constantly discovers new things to love about New York City. GANYC is awarding nine categories, and I’ll discuss three of them today. I offer my predictions, which is more fun for me than Oscar ballots. (Though still less fun than March Madness brackets, at least until GANYC switches to a single-elimination format.)

1. Outstanding Achievement in Book Writing (published 2013/14)

Sam Roberts, author: A History of New York in 101 Objects

William B. Helmreich, author: The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City

Christopher Winn, author: I Never Knew That About New York

Brandon Stanton, author/photographer: Humans of New York

I am familiar with all four of these books (currently reading Helmreich’s odyssey), and all are pretty great. Roberts and Winn gravitate towards obscure trivia that could augment a guide’s already strong generalist knowledge. Roberts likely wins the tiebreaker due his always-interesting columns and track record.


2. Outstanding Achievement in Essay/Article/Series Writing (published 2013/14)

Christopher Gray, architectural historian, former columnist: Streetscapes, The New York Times

David W. Dunlap, columnist, Building Blocks, The New York Times

Clyde Haberman, former columnist: NYC, The New York Times

Ginia Bellafante, columnist: Big City, The New York Times

The New York Times went four for four in the nominee category here, which is a little surprising. Of course, the Times has the economic model to support a thoughtful series. and all four of these writers are excellent. I’ve tweeted before that Big City by Ginia Bellafante is my favorite weekly reading, and I love Clyde Haberman as well. If I was a guide, however, I’d benefit most from Building Blocks.

JANOS.NYC PICK: David Dunlap

Brian Lehrer. Photo credit to

Brian Lehrer. Photo credit to

3. Outstanding Achievement in Radio Program/Podcasts (audio/spoken word)

The Bowery Boys Podcast

The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC

The Next Stop Is… Podcast, Second Ave. Sagas

Poop Train Episode, Radiolab Podcast

I was unfamiliar with the Poop Train until a few hours ago. It’s the dramatic tale of how this city handles the obscene amount of waste we generate every day, and though I give the episode four stars, I don’t know if I can give a single episode a win over two incredible shows, The Brian Lehrer Show and The Bowery Boys. Ditto to Second Avenue Sagas, though founder Ben Kabak maintains an excellent blog. Choosing between the Brian Lehrer Show and Bowery Boys is tough. The former is one of the cultural hubs of New York City, a mammoth daily production, while the latter is a labor of love and an example of storytelling at its finest. If I were a guide, I’d find the Bowery Boys to be a great resource for areas outside of my expertise, but without Brian Lehrer, you’re missing out on what’s happening in the city. Narrow win to Lehrer.

JANOS.NYC PICK: The Brian Lehrer Show

One thought on “GANYC Awards Ceremony Preview: Best NYC Books, Journalists and Podcasts

  1. Pingback: GANYC Awards Ceremony Preview: Best NYC Website, Preservationist, Tourism Booster |

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