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Read any history of New York City and you will read about men. You will read about men who were political leaders and men who were activists and cultural tastemakers. These men have been lauded for generations for creating the most exciting and influential city in the world.
But that's not the whole story.
The Women Who Made New York reveals the untold stories of the phenomenal women who made New York City the cultural epicenter of the world. Many were revolutionaries and activists, like Zora Neale Hurston and Audre Lorde. Others were icons and iconoclasts, like Fran Lebowitz and Grace Jones. There were also women who led quieter private lives but were just as influential, such as Emily Warren Roebling, who completed the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her engineer husband became too ill to work.
Paired with striking, contemporary illustrations by artist Hallie Heald, The Women Who Made New York offers a visual sensationone that reinvigorates not just New York City’s history but its very identity.
Julie Scelfo is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, where she was a staff member from 2007 until 2011. Previously, she was a Correspondent at Newsweek, where she covered breaking news and wrote about social trends. Scelfo was one of the first journalists to arrive at the World Trade Center on September 11, and her reporting was featured in Newsweek and news outlets around the country. For several years afterwards, she continued to cover the event’s emotional and environmental aftermath for Newsweek. During her time at there, Scelfo also became known for feature stories exploring society’s expectations of women, changing attitudes towards mental health, and parental overindulgence. She appeared as a guest at Feminist Camp, founded by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards. Her stories about society and human behavior, including articles on homebirth, Skype holidays, and kids’ construction, routinely topped the Times’s most e-mailed list.
Scelfo attended Barnard College, where she designed her own major in Political Communications, and also earned a Master’s degree in Media Ecology from New York University. After decades in Manhattan, Scelfo recently moved to Brooklyn, where she (unknowingly) bought an apartment from a member of the Gambino crime family, began sending her children to NYC public school, and learned to ride a push-scooter to ease travel back and forth between boroughs.
More information about her work can be found at juliescelfo.com.
Hallie Heald is freelance illustrator & stylist living and working in New York City. She's worked as an intern for NY designer Nanette Lepore, was an assistant designer and stylist making faux leather handbags, and been a face painter for fancy birthday parties in Santa Barbara. You can follow her at hehdesignsny.com.