The Spiritual Traveler New York City

The Spiritual Traveler New York City

A Review

Don't read the Spiritual Traveler to New York City by Edward Bergman hoping for recommendations for trendy nightclubs, interesting restaurants or what Broadway show to see. In fact, don't read the Spiritual Traveler if you're interested in anything trendy at all. That's not what this book provides.
If; however, you're interested in quiet spaces, space where people have traditionally (and in some cases, not so traditionally) encountered the sacred, and perhaps a place off the beaten path where you can sit, catch your breath and think your own thoughts, you can make good use of the Spiritual Traveler to New York City.

The Spiritual Traveler lists and describes what it calls “sacred places and peaceful parks” (although many more sacred places than peaceful parks) divided up by extremely general neighborhood boundaries (ie Harlem and the Heights, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, East Side, West Side, Downtown and the Outer Boroughs) illustrated with photos and some line drawings. Each entry includes information about the sacred place's history, its architectural significance, logistical information (address, phone number, times and days open to the public and such) and notes any green space accessible to the public, indicated with a maroon leaf. The book also includes some fascinating details about the religious history of New York City and how the city's religious landscape has been changed by the influx of different immigrant groups.

Although the edition currently in bookstores is from 2001, the next edition should include more references with where to find additional online material. The book does include website listings, but they all included as an appendix in the back of the book, away from each place's main entry.