In his latest work, "City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York," illustrator Matteo Pericoli has recreated the city landscape as seen from the offices and homes of renowned urban dwellers including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mario Batali and Philip Glass.
Pericoli, whose previous projects include bestselling book "Manhattan Unfurled," came up with the concept while moving out of the Upper West Side apartment where he had resided for seven years.
"The view is our companion for many years, and we don't understand how much it affects us and how much we make it into our own perception of the city," he says. "But I never thought about it this way until I realized that without the view I had seen for so many years, something would have really been lost. The only thing I could do to take it with me was draw it."
That would be cancer. "Because my studio is directly across from a windowless telecommunications skyscraper whose peak bristles with microwave transmitters, when I think of my view mostly I think about cancer, so I try not to think about it at all," the comedian writes in an anecdote accompanying Pericoli's sketch.
Others' scenery is less macabre. Playwright Tony Kushner writes how his highly perched view elicits a mild case of acrophobia. New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson divulges his clandestine fascination with watching one of his neighbors. Novelist E.L. Doctorow notes the historical breadth of the buildings he sees. "You realize that there isn't one city but there are millions of cities. Each of us has his perception and idea of what New York is," Pericoli says. "That's the view for me."