Coffee table books were never meant to be read.
Rather, they’re meant to sit there — hardbound and handsome-like — so guests may read you.
Because a good coffee table book showcases fine taste. Promotes conversation. And perhaps above all else, makes for a foolproof gift.
Which is why we've rounded up the year’s most stunning NYC-centric coffee table books for your looking and learning pleasure.
It's OK to stare.
Never Built New York
A look at the New York that never was. Explore nearly 200 proposals (some of them more than 200 years old) from some of the city’s boldest architectural visionaries. These are the master plans for parks, skyscrapers, bridges, airports and transit that could have altered the most iconic skyline on planet earth.
Vintage Postcards of New York
Now that we ventured through the NYC that could have been, a look at the charming city that really was. A rare and fantastic look at the ever-changing cultural landscape via vintage and antique postcards.
Hamilton The Revolution
A deep dive into out-of-the-park smash hit Hamilton that explores the dual revolutions of the play itself as well as the man behind the masterpiece.
Shop Cats of New York
NYC’s bodega cats are integral neighborhood characters. Here, you’ll meet the city’s favorite felines in stirring high definition, complete with back stories that reveal who they are and how they came to rule their tiny kingdoms.
The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book
A cornerstone in the cocktail world, the legendary Peacock Alley’s manager Frank Caiafa serves up the how-to on some of the world’s finest libations. From history to recipe, it’s an essential read for the intrepid home barkeep.
Celebrating 25 years of boundary-pushing art, fashion and design, the innovative NY-based Visionaire mag comes to us with a rich panorama of their revolutionary content. Cculled from 65 issues, it’s 450 images of contemporary fashion history featuring creative kingpins like Karl Lagerfeld, David Bowie, Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono and Kate Moss.
F*cking New York
There’s no doubting that New York is a seductive city. But these women have taken the attraction to a whole new level. Electric, sensual and yet still silly, it’s an in-your-face collection of unstoppable women getting to know our city’s streets, structures and sidewalks — in the biblical sense.
New York in 50 Maps: 750 Places for Urban Adventure
Equal parts coffee table book and rainy day reference guide, enjoy a collection of individually drawn maps that will have you looking at the city from myriad perspectives. There’s something for every curious adventurer, from the best selfie spots to famous movie locations to the light-hearted “where to lose your children.”