Kevin Baker is celebrated for his journalism and his historical fiction, a genre that gets a bad rap as a kind of lesser literature. But isn’t all fiction historical fiction, with an obligation to effectively render details of time and place? The place that concerns him is New York City, and he ranges across its history from the mid-nineteenth century of Paradise Alley to the post-World War II era of his most recent book, The Big Crowd. I hope that his next novel is set in New New York, that city beneath the sea, at the turn of the next century. And that we build the giant aqua-dome in time.
PERSON: Sloan Simpson, former NYC first lady
PLACE: New York’s East River docks
THING: a Reggie Bar, hyper-local NYC treat
RANDY’S PLACE: the original G.E. Building. He took David Letterman and a camera crew there when G.E. bought NBC.