A story-filled portrait of the vibrant metropolis, New York: From Mannahatta to Ground Zero blends historical account, essay and reportage to produce a companion for a curious explorer. RIttenhouse leads us through the history of the city -- spanning from the voyage of Henry Hudson and the Dutch settlement on the island of Mannahatta to the dazzling billboards of contemporary Times Square and the reconstruction of Ground Zero. Her accounts combine cultural, intellectual, financial and economic history of New York with its architecture and urban planning, fashion and entertainment, religion and politics. Rittenhouse's narration is full of facts yet it embraces unforgettable energy, diversity, and creativity of Manhattan. As she examines a city full of contrasts, trying to conjure up its atmosphere, she moves back and forth in time, constantly changing her lenses -- looking at wider context, then focusing on minute details of everyday life. Her explorations are organized around themes and places rather than chronologically, as one might experience during long walks. Way more than a standard traveler's guide, it's a great introduction to a fascinating city.