So, uh, Gothamist just had our third birthday, but if you haven't gotten us a present yet we know what we want. We want this. The Department of City Planning's newly updated Zoning Handbbook (only $24! $18 if you order 10 or more - makes great stocking stuffers!).
The first update of the Handbook since 1990, the book explains in layman's terms all of the crazy that is our great metropolis's zoning regulations. Plus, it's illustrated! And full of appendices of zoning analyses, typical buildings and other such goodies:
The handbook is an abundantly illustrated gazetteer of the city's zoning districts: residential (R), commercial (C) and manufacturing (M). It shows what those mysterious letters and numbers mean in three-dimensional form, using diagrams and color photographs of actual buildings, from single-family homes perched on ample front yards (R1-1) to the densely packed canyon of Lexington Avenue (C6-6).
All of which makes us really want to go play the original SimCity right now.
An example of R9 zoning from the Handbook.