Nearly three years after its first book — Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York — New York Magazine has published another one. Assembled by the editors of New York with contributions from Jerry Saltz, Rebecca Traister, Christopher Bonanos, and many more, The Encyclopedia of New York is part deep dive into hidden histories and part city field guide covering most anything one might want to know about the origins of things invented in New York City, including many you likely weren’t aware were created here — for instance, the game of Scrabble was born in Jackson Heights in 1931. Some other topics: General Tso’s chicken, the lap dance (in 1978, they apparently went for a $1 apiece in Times Square), double Dutch, and … Q-tips. This would, we suspect, make an excellent gift for the person in your life who wears a Zabar’s cap and an Economy Candy hoodie, the one who just moved into their first apartment in Greenpoint, and the once-frequent New York City visitor currently stuck in, say, Minnesota.
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