Monday, November 24, 2008

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (28)

Topic: History, Is My Passion

History, in all its manifestations is my passion and I love nothing more than sharing what I learn with you.

As a native New Yawker from East Harlem, I have become totally fascinated by the early history of New York City. Many of us seem to focus sometimes only on the negative aspects of the Big Apple, that we tend to overlook its impressive greatness.

The history of New York City deserves to be studied or known as one of the most magnificent cities, for its wonderful steady and rapid growth, splendid material prosperity, having a population of such a cosmopolitan character, represented by the diversity of its ethnic groups and religions. New York City has lived through a Revolution and centuries of overwhelming critical issues, withstanding to a certain degree, its destructive effects.

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.
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. It's a helluva town!

The history of the State of New York illustrates the history of the Nation in all of its stages. In some aspects the history of the State is coextensive with that of the Nation. The mingling of the peoples of the world; development from wilderness to metropolis; conflicts of politics; growth of corporations and the multiplication of new industries; achievement of cultural and self-expression. In addition we must also include, the internal improvements and revolutions in transportation and communication; the domination of finance and the spread of foreign commerce. In summary it is the Nation's greatest financial, mercantile and cultural center fully
justified by its title: The Empire State.

The United States as a whole is a place where every man may enjoy the fruits of his industry, every mind is free to publish his convictions, where invention quickens the freedom of competition, where the freedom of religion is sustained by the earnestness of its believers, where our wealth is giving us a first rank among nations, where masses of emigrants of different lineages perpetually crowd our shores seeking a better future, where asylum is granted to the virtuous, the unfortunate and the oppressed of every nation.

There is every reason to believe our great country will continue its gift to the world, and that the story of immigration is always one "to be continued."

Miriam Medina

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