This Must Be The Place: Music, Community, and Vanished Spaces in New York City

“Jesse Rifkin pulls the reader along with him on this wild and deeply researched nostalgia trip through New York’s vanished music scene, starting in the Greenwich Village coffeehouses in the 1950s and ending in present-day Brooklyn. This dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker loved it!”—Alice Sparberg Alexiou, author of The Devil’s Mile, The Flatiron and Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary

How have real estate, gentrification, and community shaped New York City’s music scene?

New York City has been a hotbed of musical innovation for generations, and its neighborhoods have built and nurtured vibrant music scenes ranging from folk to hip hop. Relying on hundreds of interviews and firsthand accounts, Jesse Rifkin’s This Must Be The Place (Hanover Square Press, 2023) examines the past sixty years of NYC’s music history and the spaces where it thrived. Rifkin dismisses the notion of a singular “golden age” for New York’s musical artists and presents it as a continuum evolving with the shifting fortunes of our city and deeply tied to the availability of affordable venues and other spaces for artists to connect and collaborate.

On February 27 at the Jefferson Market Library, OHNY presented a lively conversation between Jesse Rifkin and OHNY Board Vice Chair Saundra Thomas about his experience writing this book. Participants learned about some of the fascinating stories and personalities bygone venues and haunts in Lower Manhattan and Williamsburg and their musical legacies.

Purchase This Must Be The Place: Music, Community, and Vanished Spaces in New York City here or at your favorite local bookstore.

AIA CES credit (1 LU) is available for attendees.

About the Author

Jesse Rifkin is the owner and sole operator of Walk on the Wild Side Tours NYC, a music history walking tour company in New York City, and consults as a pop music historian for Alan Lomax’s Association for Cultural Equity. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Vice, and Fodor’s Travel.

Launched in 2020, OHNY Stacks is a series of book talks exploring the shape, structure, and experience of cities and urban life today. Join us this winter, virtually and in person, for conversations with acclaimed authors that reveal new perspectives on the past, present, and future of life in NYC—and beyond.

Admission is free. Limited-capacity; RSVPs are recommended but a ticket does not guarantee seating. Space is first-come, first-serve.

Jefferson Market Library
425 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10011