CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina
Suppose I was a reporter in the year 2006, assigned to
write an article on the city of New York. My first step
would be to interview its residents, getting their opinions
on what they think of the Big Apple. After all, New Yorkers
are known for telling it exactly as it is, so let's hear
what they want to say regarding their home town.
QUESTION: Hello, Can you tell me what you like
about New York City?
"Get atta my face!," "Oy Vey!," "It's cool," "eh!," " I hate
living here it's very stressful," " The apartments are so
expensive unless you live in a rat infested roach hotel," "
There are lots of great theaters especially on Broadway,
but watch out for the muggers and the pick-pockets," "
Those pushcart peddlers will rob you blind and selling hot
merchandise no less," " Thank God, my cousin Sheila lives in
Queens, at least there's trees there," "There are lots of
good ethnic restaurants," " Nobody ever sleeps!," "CLAUSTOPHOBIA!,"
" I hate the congestion of traffic especially during the
rush hour," "I live on the fifth floor and that damn
elevator never works, this rotten landlord with all the
money he makes on us, you'd think he'd get it fixed!,"
"There's no place to park unless you pile the cars on top of
each other," "Freedom of Expression," "Great paying jobs but
what a hassle to get there", "Forget the subways, it's like
being in a can of sardines," " I love it," " #%!&@ ," " Hic!
I'll drink to that, can you spare a buck?," "It always looks
dirty," " New York City has some real nice parks, you'll
just have to deal with the pigeon crap," "Too many
immigrants," "Some of the neighborhoods look like a war
zone," " It's a great place for bargain hunting", "Those
crooked Taxi-cab drivers will ride you around the same block
three times and charge you an arm and a leg", " I'm afraid
to go out at night," "Ya take ya life in ya hands when you
cross the street, these crazy drivers don't believe in red
lights or stop signs here!," " Awesome," "It's a marathon,
they'll knock ya down if ya don't get atta their way,"
"Everyone's too hostile," "Oh how I love the annual parades
they are such a beautiful sight," "I've got gates on my
windows and three locks on my door doesn't that tell you
something?," "I hate the summer, smells like last year's
garbage is still out there,"--and the list of complaints and
Ok! Ok! I get the picture. To my private list of both
critical and laudatory responses (if nothing else, New York
is a paradox), I would add Richard Swift's article ;"Life in
the Shadows, the Underside of New York City," which
describes the nervousness, tensions, hostilities, and the
frustrations of living in crowded conditions in today's
city. You can find this article at:
I would also include
Robert Kendall's "I Happen To Love New York."
New York, New York: It's a hellava town. New York City
has always had its share of growing pains, complete with
political, social and economic upheavals galore. What are
some of the recurring issues? Crime; accommodating masses of
impoverished immigrants and migrants; the deterioration of
neighborhoods; intolerable housing and extortionate rents;
high taxes; unemployment; political and racial riots; police
brutality and political corruption: and that's just the
beginning. Yet, in spite of all the discomforts and
miseries, miraculously, most of those who crowd the city
streets choose to stay. New York, New York.
Its history of over 350 years deserves attention as one
of the world's most magnificent cities, studied for its
steady and rapid growth, its material prosperity and its
generous representation of diverse ethnic groups and
New York City has unmatched theaters and museums and
architecture. It is the financial center of the United
States-- some say the world--, as well as the hub of
American advertising, fashion, publishing, and radio
Television broadcasting. New York is definitely not one of
the natural wonders of the world: Millions visit the city
each year to see what humans, not nature, can achieve.
Walter Barrett, author of Old Merchants,
in his second series Book (1863), captures New York City :
"New York City is the heart_____the seat of vitality. Stop
beatings, and the prosperity, the liberty, aye, the
existence of the United
States is ended. The Nation will die. . . . Her great
strength cannot be
In researching New York City's history I have compiled a
list of factual "Firsts", based on these words: established,
created, founded, introduced, built, opened, begun,
commenced, settled, incorporated--and many more. I mean
these search words to provide insight into the growth and
development of this magnificent city.
My list encompassing 1600 to the 1900s will , I hope, prove
grist for the mill of your curious mind. I have arranged the
Native New Yorker
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