An argument for place is identity. Mary Elizabeth Williams' chronicle of trying to purchase a home in NYC today -- published just before the big collapse of credit. Throughout the book, I couldn't help thinking why would anyone choose to live there permanently and raise their children there? And Mary Elizabeth answers that question over and over -- and her answer works for her, but not for me.There's a lot of human interest. She sprinkles stories of her friends' purchases of real estate in other parts of the countries throughout the book for comparison and contrast. She speaks to experts in the fields of lending and real estate, so she illustrates some of the finer points -- but it never sounds like a text book. She certainly lays out her own personal life in detail, along with every detail of every apartment they look at in the process. It was an engaging read, and I read it quickly.