Welcome 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.
JANOS.NYC PICK: Sam Roberts
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
3. Outstanding Achievement in Radio Program/Podcasts (audio/spoken word)
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