NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Two handsome books on New York are worthy of your attention. The Landmarks of New York III is the newest edition of Barbaralee Diamonstein's classic work, splendidly published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ($49.50). It is especially appropriate reading during the year-long (1998) celebration of the centenary of the consolidation of New York City.
The newly revised volume documents and illustrates more than 1,000 landmarks and 70 historic districts in the five boroughs. Spanning three centuries, the landmarks range from town houses and skyscrapers to restaurants and outdoor clocks, from police stations and firehouses to churches and synagogues. Included are 30 theatres, both on and Off-Broadway, that are officially designated as landmarks.
New York -- An Illustrated History of the People by Allon Schoener (W.W. Norton & Company, $59.95) is the first pictorial history of the diverse peoples of the world who have made New York their home. This exceptional display of New York photographs, drawings, engravings, maps and ephemera is enhanced by documentary text that the author has selected from diaries, news articles and books.
This striking volume will introduce you to the nearly 200 nationalities that call New York's five boroughs their home.
BEAUTY BEATS LA CAGE: Disney's Beauty and the Beast recently became the longest-running show at Broadway's historical Palace Theatre, when it gave its 1,762nd performance on July 7. It's now the fifth longest-running show currently on Broadway and has been seen by more than 12 million people worldwide.
The Palace -- the world's most famous vaudeville house from 1913 until the 1930's -- was bought by the Nederlander Organization in 1965, when it was beautifully renovated and converted to a legitimate theatre. Its first production was the megahit musical Sweet Charity starring Gwen Verdon in 1966. Other hits that have played there since include Lauren Bacall in both Applause and Woman of the Year, La Cage aux Folles and The Will Rogers Follies, both Tony Award winners as their year's best musicals.