Thursday, July 9, 2015
The newly published travel guide, Awkwafina's NYC, is unlike any other book on travel. While it is categorized as a travel book, don't expect to find any scenic photographs of the typical historical tourist areas of NYC. You won't find picturesque scenes of the Empire state building or other well known structures or other of coverage art and culture. Yet with its eccentric and eclectic cover and its unique title, one would not expect this to be a traditional travel guide but rather a comical satire of NYC and its underground and alternative culture. This full color glossy paged book would make a great gift or souvenir for anyone going to visit NYC or for anyone looking for a unique gift. This picture book is narrated by a eclectically dressed young woman of Asian descent, native to NYC known only as "Awkwafina". The first thing one notices on the cover are the over-sized bold glasses, knit cap, tee-shirt and exaggerated facial expression of "Awkwafina" as she poses in stereotypical tourist fashion against the backdrop of a chain link fence and the NYC skyline as the back drop. I assumed at first that the girl on the cover was in fact Awkwafina. This was confirmed when I read some background info on the inner back jacket. Bold magazine styled graphics and photos draw in the reader. This alternative guide offers extensive and humorous coverage of odd themes such as "10 places to pee" in NYC and a guide to "underground etiquette". I guess one can say there is some practicality contained. It also exposes the culture of NYC that is often neglected in tourist guides. It is a unique perspective and it has its place among budget travel books. There are even pull open maps as well. There are even those write your own fill in the blank "ad lib" styled games as well- reminiscent of the popular Ad Lib books of the 1980s. The design of the book gives a retro impression and some of the photography is reminiscent of the Instagram photo effects. I'd also say this book makes an entertaining coffee table book even for those who have no intention of ever visiting NYC as well. This is definitely a a gift book for the younger audience in the twenties and possibly thirties as well, As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter Style, an imprint of Crown publishers, a division of Random House LLC for the purpose of writing this review.