It's shocking to think that someone would move to New York because of the beautiful, bountiful waters of the Hudson. Or the East River. But as Mark Kurlansky
reveals in his latest best-selling history book, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell
, NYC was once famous for its abundant oyster beds. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the rivers were so thickly populated with floating oyster factories that they appeared to be just another built-up street. Kurlansky charts the rise and fall of the oyster biz, drawing the uncomfortable conclusion that if the oysters hadn't been overfished, New York might still be famous for its sparkling rivers. Kurlansky reads from and discusses Big Oyster
at 7 p.m. this evening at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; www.left-bank.com
or 314-367-6731). Admission is free, and books are available for purchase.
Tue., Jan. 23