Cleaning Up New York is a fascinating and vibrant look at the insides and outsides of New York City through the eyes of Bob Rosenthal, a 26-year-old starving poet who would go on to be Allen Ginsberg's secretary for 20 years, as well as an excellent writer and poet in his own right. Told with warm wit and insight, Cleaning Up New York gives readers an unforgettable tour of the city's homes and inhabitants, and even some expert cleaning tips along the way.
Bob Rosenthal was Allen Ginsberg's secretary for 20 years until Ginsberg's death, and currently is a chief advisor to the Ginsberg estate. A poet and writer, he is currently working on a chronicle of the business of Allen Ginsberg. He taught English Language and Literature at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in New York City.
"I first read Cleaning Up New York when it was published in
the 1970s and I've been recommending it to people ever since. It's
one of those great, rare works the style of which--immaculate, with
unexpected descriptor glints, and funny, low-key
frankness--perfectly embodies its subject, namely the revelation of
soft shine in humble corners of New York. it's a miracle and you
don't have to be clean to appreciate it.
"Bob Rosenthal's Cleaning Up New York is a perfect little
gem of a book. There is not one wasted or misplaced word in this
chronicle, which manages to contain an awful lot of the world in
its few pages. It's not only about the city and its range of
denizens, but also about the art of living, the satisfaction of
humble work, the way poetry arises from daily experience. and if
that weren't enough, it also includes really useful advice about
--Luc Sante "[Cleaning Up New York] is one of the great neglected books of the 1970s, a classic short essay...it's brilliant and playful...and eminently practical, too."--The Endless Bookshelf blog Praise for Straight Around Allen
"Bob Rosenthal's unique, remarkable, and candid recollections of two decades working as secretary for Allen...are, quite frankly, essential reading."--The Allen Ginsberg Project blog