I am completely blown away by this story. It’s lush and rich and poignant and glorious in its self-referential playing-with-history; it layers time on top of itself like folded steel and in doing so produces an intensely beautiful pattern.
It makes me think of the bit in The Shining where the Overlook is all Overlooks at once, the layers of history sliding into one another; but this is not a sinister timeslip, this inhuman place makes human monsters: it’s exactly the opposite. This living city makes human art. The whole piece is a love-song to New York, to the creature that is the city, and to the gorgeous things made by its people.
There’s a line somewhere – I think it’s in Hilary Mantel’s brilliant A Place of Greater Safety – which comes to mind; the city of Paris has taken somebody to its dark and singing heart, and that’s Pinsker’s New York – only light it up with green and gold exuberance. This story is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time.