So should we look backward in teary-eyed nostalgia for the glorious past, or grit our teeth and move forward, accepting the inevitability of change in order to carve out a place for ourselves in this brave new New York?
This is the central question at the heart of Ed Hamiltonís The Chintz Age: Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York, a collection of short stories set in New York neighborhoods with uniquely New York characters.
Hamilton has ample experience in these neighborhoods, and he knows these characters. A longtime resident of the famed or notorious
(depending on who you ask) Chelsea Hotel. Hamilton lives and breathes these stories daily, and the characters come to vibrant life because of it.
These are quintessential New Yorkers: punks, beatniks, junkies, and squatters. But beyond those labels, the characters in The Chintz Age are dreamers. Many are on the other side of the dream, struggling to hang on.
Hamilton captures them in the precise moments where everything can change. The adventure is in finding whether they look backward or grit their teeth and look forward.
Hamilton creates relatable characters with heartbreak and breakthroughs that resonate. Each of the eight short stories in this collection is a keeper. Hamilton paints a New York you recognize, even if you have never set foot in the city. These same people are in your city, struggling to live the same dreams.