The Encyclopedia of New York

London isn’t the only city with an A-Z city guide.

The Encyclopedia of New York is a compendium of all the small and large details making up the palimpsest that is New York City. Chris Bonanos, along with an assembly of New York Magazine’s editors, provides poignant vignettes and a deep dive into the hidden histories of the city. The Encyclopedia of New York is a field guide of New York City inventions and their origins. It is an excavation of the city’s architecture and storied accounts.

In this conversation with Saundra Thomas, Chris Bonanos took us on a journey through the New York City alphabet.

“The editors convincingly argue that everything from abstract expressionism and the auteur theory to punk rock, Q-Tips, the teddy bear, toilet paper (and the urinal), and zoning regulations owes its origins to the five boroughs.”
Kirkus Reviews

Author bio
Christopher Bonanos has been an editor and writer at New York Magazine and its digital siblings for 26 years. He is the author of three books—the most recent of which won the National Book Critics Circle award for the best biography of 2018—and a contributor to several others. Bonanos has also written for New York Times, the Wall Street JournalSlateTravel & LeisureCondé Nast TravelerTablet, and many more magazines and websites.


OHNY Stacks is a series of book talks exploring the unknown, the unseen, and the unnoticed. These conversations shine a light on the impact of some of the historical staples of American life and how they have shaped our cities and continue to affect inhabitants.

This event was hosted live on Zoom.