In a nutshell, comedian Trent Gillaspie summarizes New York City as “the city that never sleeps with the same person twice.” It’s important information to know if you’re a tourist visiting the most populous city in the United States, or fair warning if you’re a New Yorker. Whereas cheesy guidebooks point out tourist–laden attractions and overpriced restaurants, Gillaspie’s new book, Judgmental Maps, based on his popular blog, offers straightforward, concise and brutally honest insight into some of America’s greatest cities. You may well remember his previous Judgmental Map of New York City that we featured here on Untapped Cities.
What originally began as a joke between Gillaspie and his friends in Denver eventually turned into a viral sensation, fueled partly by a community of people eager to label maps of their cities with less than glamorous, but highly useful descriptions.
The book, featuring new, never-before-published material, is a colorful collection of such maps divided into five categories: “The Yankees,” “The Deep South,” “The Flyover States,” “The Left Coast,” and “The Outlawed Southwest.” There’s an overall map of New York City, updated for the book, and more detailed maps by neighborhood, like Long Island City, below.
Among a number of other nicknames, New York City is referred to as “The Ball-Dropping Capital of the World” and “The Big Asshole.” Manhattan is covered in labels, ranging from “very rich people” to “drunk Mickey Mouses,” and Brooklyn is home to “yuppie hipsters” and plenty of gentrified (or “to be gentrified” areas).
If any of the contents might offend you as the reader, Gillaspie simply tells you to “Go f*ck yourself.” After all, the very concept of a map is inherently judgmental. As he points out, the Mercator projection, a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator, drastically exaggerates areas far from the equator. Europe and the United States of America, as a result, appear prominent and significant, while the southern hemisphere sits scrunched up below.
Consider Judgmental Maps to be your “truth atlas.” Contributors to the book, who Gillaspie refers to as “Snarktographers,” offer a little bit of local insight into popular city areas, rife with stereotypes and hilariously uncensored descriptions of the places we’ve all come to know and love (and, in some cases, hate).
Here’s the map of Long Island, which we included because well, our founder is an Asian nerd and hails from the area of Asian Nerds and “Really Good Bagels and Pizza Probably.” We also like the inclusion of the Big Duck, which we visited recently.