Monthly Archives: February 2014

Building a Modern City (Blog #2)

New York was developing quickly. Constitutional rights were finally being recognized. Constitutional change had expanded the number of potential electors. New York was destined to become the future London of America. Large  number of immigrants immediately fled to New York, who’s voting potential was tapped. America was rapidly growing, businesses bloomed rapidly. All of this later prepped the wait for the Erie Canal.

Early New York developments have influenced our surroundings today. Major advancements as, the Erie Canal (1825) have left impacts. In 1825 the opening of the Erie Canal had given New York a new technological way and allowed access to the west. The completion of the Erie Canal guaranteed New York City’s future prosperity. Steam locomotive engines then invented shipping and railroads. Railways and transportation helped to move people, goods, and raw materials.

Property qualifications were dropped, and immigrants poured in by the tens of thousands. It was the greatest transfer of population the world had ever experienced. The first tenements were built, housing immigrants for low rate. Diseases were spread amongst non born natives, killing most of them quickly. Trying to improve the conditions New York lated constructed the adequate and clean water supply, for both disease control and fire protection.

New York had become the greatest city in the nations. Phenomenal growth, economic strength, cultural maturity, technological changes, crime, disease, poverty and development were factors.  New York was coexist and was still changing. All these problems faced, later led to New York today.

Blog Assignment #2 – “TALE OF TWO CITIES”


Native- Born VS. Immigrants

Now that the Erie Canal opened up in New York has rapidly grew.  The population grew and grew and grew! Everyone wanted to come to New York from all over the world.  The Irish and Germans came to the USA through New York.  New York became so overpopulated that they stopped the new comers from coming through the gates.

These people that came to our “New World” were now called immigrants.  New York was now a huge diverse city.  Although New York was considered one big city, it was more like two cities.  The Immigrants VS. The Native- Born Citizens. These two groups of people lived very different from one another.  After doing the reading in Lankevich, I was horrified by the conditions the Immigrants were living in.

The Immigrants were living the worst out of the two cities.  They were living in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions.  They created the “ghetto.”  They were also the first to live in tenements.  Tenements were the first apartments but were very highly unsanitary.  They smelled really bad and were very filthy.  They didn’t have bathrooms inside the tenements.  They had to go outside and shower and use the bathroom. Families and single bachelors lived in these tenements.  It’s the only thing they could afford at the time; they didn’t have much of a choice, and if they did complain, the landlord wouldn’t care.  He could find someone else to replace it immediately.

Back then, no one knew about being sanitary.  They had poor hygiene, even the rich; however the poor were the ones who mostly lacked hygiene.  Because of these conditions, diseases and epidemics spread throughout the city, killing many.  There were more Immigrants dying than the Native-Borns. 

Meanwhile these Immigrants are living in these horrible conditions, the Native-Borns were living in houses.  They didn’t have to use the bathroom outside like the Immigrants.  Their homes weren’t as filthy as the tenements.  Of course they also had better jobs than the Immigrants.

I believe the “Tale of the Two Cities” still exists until this day, except it isn’t between the Immigrants and the Native-Borns.  It’s between the rich and the poor.  Ghettos still exist.  Although it was all one big city, it still was like it was two cities in one.  The diversity of New York all started from 1825, when the “Tale of the Two Cities” began.

Its a jungle out there!

Living in New York for twenty-one years, I have seen a large amount of craziness in my days. Growing up in Jamaica, Queens my whole life I noticed the changes in the neighborhood throughout the years. As a child i noticed that the streets were not clean and there was a lot of gang activity going on. i was never allowed to go outside without an adult. It was crazy how i wanted to go outside but couldnt because of who was outside. It wasnt until i was 14 years old when i was allowed to walk outside by myself to go to school. Believe me I was completely terrified of the idea but i did it, and I finally realized what the outside world was like, people walking around, different ethnic groups. It completely amazed me about everything in my neighborhood as i walked on my own. As i grew older i traveled to different boroughs. Boy was i amazed by what i saw, i saw the tall buildings in Manhattan, the trains running outdoors in Brooklyn and the diversity of the streets in the Bronx. i have never been to Staten Island but i assume that it is not as boring as people say it is. the way i see New York is just a large jungle with no hierarchy within the boroughs. as time passed neighborhood have both improved or gotten worse. i dont want to leave New York, but i just wish it werent such a jungle out there!


My New York is composed of different moment and places. My immediate New York I would say is Fort Green, Downtown Brooklyn, and Dumbo. I mainly go to school because it takes most of my time and energy. In fact is not all I do, nor these are the only places I go to, I like my New York because I get to interact with people from different places. Once I take the train on Brownsville you can see that the majority of people are black, but going a little further like 5 stops from mine everything changes. I remember five years ago when taking the A or C train you would only see African Americans in the train car with a few Hispanic exceptions, which in this case I was one of the exceptions. The demographics changed drastically in the past couple of years and I have witness the evolution of the neighborhoods. Following the evolution of neighborhoods I grow up in let’s say three areas, Brownsville Brooklyn, Cypress Hills, and East New York. I recall the places to be a bit more segregated and people, not in the sense that it would be racially segregated but segregated by race. Looking at my new version of New York you see there is bigger manifestation of interaction. I can see people from many races and ethnic group socializing and the thin veil of prejudice vanished. Another factor of my New York is there is more people I see, more people I want to meet, the more I would like to learn and you indeed learn from every person something new every day. The most important part of MY New York is that I see people as different as they are to me, and I know for sure I am different from them as well. I love going to the park and sitting there drinking a coffee and thinking how we take for granted this city. When I see tourist and they get amazed for things we have in our everyday life but we don’t care because they don’t directly interfere with our life. This would be MY New York where I sit wherever I go to I can enjoy a coffee and read a book and know there are people different from me how enjoy the city in many different other ways.

My New York

New York has been a place I always wanted to visit. A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to live in New York. The first time I visited the city it was an exciting feeling, I was amazed by the under ground infrastructure, it seem as though there’s a whole world happening below the street level. There were trains, businesses, people lives were happening below the earth’s surface.

Then I got out of the trains and the world above ground, was really above ground! The buildings were taller than the tallest building I knew. To see where the buildings ended I had to rotate my head at least 90 degrees to see the top. I was fascinated by the design, construction and aesthetics that these buildings presented to an individual. I started to take pictures and walk around the city exploring the different areas in NYC. I toured from lower to upper Manhattan, just to take in this authoritative or bold feel New York city’s high rise provided. The majestic feel that the infrastructure, provides still remains the same with me today, But something changed.

My View of the people and living conditions. My first few visits, I saw the city for it’s beauty and was blinded by that, it was what I wanted to see. As I visited the city more often I began to see slums, litter on the streets and on the train tracks. I saw people cramped in small places the call home. I saw rundown buildings and sadness. People going places in a rush, people faces are stressed with bags under their eyes, the reality of NYC is stressful. The people I saw the happiest in the city are the ones who came to take in the brilliance and beauty of the city and then the leave after a week.

New York City even with it’s internal problems that can be fixed, remains one of the places that show forth the brilliance of the people and the greatness of the nation. It is a place where people from every walks of life can come and survive as long as you have a dream and passion to fulfill that dream.

My New York- Still A Better Love Story Than Twilight

November 20 2003, a little over ten years ago, a terrified little girl stepped foot in New York City for the first time. Going from JFK to Jamaica Queens all she could think of was how clean this new city is, little did she know how drastically that idea would change.

A person who has never stepped outside of the third world country that is Bangladesh, New York City to me was nothing less than a strange concrete jungle with even stranger vicious wild animals. I was never exposed to much of the city other than queens for the first three years of my life here. When I started high school I found myself suddenly thrown into the subway and forced to navigate every single day to midtown by myself. That was my first real encounter with my now beloved city.

My initial impression of this sparkly clean city changed when I encountered rats in the subway, dirty pigeons that attacked me on the streets, and the homeless man that took up a whole train car because of his body odor. Four years of high school in midtown put me in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the New York life and soon I became part of the herd. I felt, and still feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have gotten the chance to experience the real New York life and to have felt accepted in this crazy concrete jungle.

My New York is walking around Union Square and bumping into an old friend, My New York is taking the seven train from Grand Central Station at night and eagerly waiting for that cinematic turn and getting hit in the face with the full unobstructed spectacular view of Manhattan’s skyline. My New York is going to Williamsburg every Sunday and having brunch after yoga at my regular hole-in-the-wall restaurant, it’s going to Central Park just to see the cherry blossoms every spring. My New York is a never ending love story.

My New York

My New York is a place where I was never able to fully embrace her architecture or landscape before now.  What I noticed most about My New York were the hard working people that play an active and meaningful, but thankless role in keeping My New York running and keeping her where she needs to be.  From 30,000 feet for many America is known as the land of opportunity and New York is the heart that gives it life.  New York is the hub that influences the world we live in.   It is a place where dreams rise up and goals are something that is worth fighting for.

My New York means to me everything is amplified and more intense and exciting.  It’s a place full of diversity and hearing new languages spoken is never really surprising.  My New York is filled with a carnival of ideals and ordeals.

My New York is a destination for immigrants from all over the world.  They come to My New York to experience the freedom to strive for and live out the American dream and not just survive. My New York opens her doors to people from all walks of life so that they can experience a better tomorrow in this lifetime.   

To me, My New York is a place that changed as time went on.  What used to be a symphony filled with musical interludes has now become a cacophony of loud and eclectic noise.  My New York is a place were I want to escape from in my attempt to enjoy a landscape of green trees and grass filled meadows and pastures.  My New York has become a place where I feel like I need to be released from so I can experience life feeling free.  My New York has become a cold, dark and sterile place where people don’t seem to care about each other and the daily mantra rests on the belief that it is every man for himself.  The love seems to have left My New York.  In time I know it will return; like Winter gives way to Spring, I will experience the sights, sounds and feelings of My New York again it just takes time.

My New York

My New York…….
I was born in Mexico but grew up in Albany NY. While living in Albany I was always fascinated with NYC. I would always hear that it was the city that never sleeps and that always made me wonder. At the age of 11years old was my first time visiting NYC in a school trip. The memories of that is vague although I do remember seeing the Statue of Liberty. When I used to attend Hudson Valley Community College I would often make trips to NYC by myself for a day or two just to get to know the city a little better. I would love seeing buildings such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building as well as other high rise buildings. The architectural work on some of them were awesome. I would ask people for directions somewhere an a lot of people spoke spanish to me. In Albany there aren’t a lot of people that speak spanish. NYC also have a lot of different restaurants from different cultures that I did get to enjoy. I always dreamed of going to school in NYC. In August of 2013 we moved to Queens NY. I started school in September of that year. Although having a vehicle I learned to travel on the train. Boy oh Boy the subway of NYC is something else. So I started taking the train from Queens to Brooklyn to get to school. It was a challenge a lot of the time. Sometimes the trains would run with delays, sometimes on time, and other times not run at all. I got used to it like all other New Yorkers. Now I get around the city in trains with hardly any trouble. I learned that NYC is a fast paced city. New Yorkers don’t stop to smell the roses like tourist do, they just move like they are always running late, then again they probably are. Now, when my mom comes to visit me she can’t understand all the craziness that goes on here, and I told her live in NYC for a few months and you’ll get used to it. My New York is seeing the Empire State Building everyday and never getting tired of it. My New York is going to south street seaport in the summer.

My New York -Daniel Savoca

New York is extremely fast paced in my eyes. People are always doing some activity and in constant motion. There is never a dull moment in New York. I’ve been here since I was born. You can see a big difference when spending time in New York City and spending time somewhere else. New York has the most interesting structures and is the most memorable city. This is where people go to start a career and become known. What is great about New York City is that it has a little bit of everything. There are parks, laid back areas, very quiet suburban areas, busy party areas, and beaches too. Cultures from around the world are settling in New York City and evolving.
New York is always changing. Things are being added to New York everyday which makes it such a tourist attraction. Im always visiting New York. Their are performers in Manhattan, always putting on a show for each individual person. Manhattan has so much history and cultural diffusion that it is considered a place for everyone to become comfortable. My first impression of New York was that their was so much to do. I tried to replace each negative thing i saw with a positive. Yes, New York has it’s flaws, but at the end of the day we see its natural beauty. People can really spend a full day in the city and just walking around is relaxing enough. You feel safe at home because it is very congested. My current neighborhood is very quiet and isolated. I travel to Manhattan every weekend to spend time with friends and family. The time I spend in Manhattan makes me wish I actually lived their but I consider myself a New Yorker anyway because of all the time I do in fact spend their. I notice people who live in New York act differently. We see hard works, designers, craftsman, people that work hard to show that New York is a hard working home. We build such skyscrapers that no other place has, to be beautiful and such an inspiration to millions. This is my New York. -Daniel Savoca

“MY NEW YORK” (blog assignment #1)

Everyone thinks New York is where all dreams come true; The American Dream; the city that never sleeps.  All of which may be true, but it doesn’t come that easy.  Dreams can come true, but you have to work hard to get there.  New York isn’t exactly what the movies portray it to be. People from all over the world come to New York for a better life, for what they believe the American Dream is, but do get disappointed after experiencing what it truly is. 

I was born and raised in New York, but my parents weren’t.  They came from Guyana, moving here to the city believing it to be where their dreams will come true.  When they first came here to the country, it was hard for them to find a job.  They thought it would have been easy, but unfortunately it wasn’t.  They eventually got where they wanted to be and worked really hard to get there.  At first they did miss their country, but they grew to love New York; it was their new home.  Going back to their country to visit wasn’t the same anymore.  They couldn’t imagine themselves ever going back to live there again.

I’ve always lived in Queens.  I rarely went to Brooklyn or Manhattan, the actual city of New York until I started college.  Going to Brooklyn or Manhattan meant traveling in a train or a bus if you didn’t have a car.  Even getting around in queens meant taking the bus.  It terrified me; traveling with complete strangers, getting lost.  Even though I am from New York, it didn’t feel like it.  I felt like a tourist.  Every time a tourist would ask me for directions I always say I’m not sure.

When I was little, I was terrified of public transportation.  I never understood how people used to do it as their daily routine.  I’ve always been driven everywhere with a car.  I always remembered my first time in a train; I was about 8 years old traveling to Brooklyn with my aunt.  I thought the train smelled bad and was extremely dirty.  There was writing everywhere.  Everyone around us was strangers.  The cart keep moving fast and we were all shifting.  I couldn’t wait to get off the train.

I guess I am different from any other New Yorker.  If you ask an average New Yorker how they feel about public transportation, their response probably wouldn’t be like mine.  They might think it’s a silly question because it was ordinary, but to me it wasn’t.

Now that I’ve started college, I feel like I’m an expert of the A train line.  I now memorize all the stops from Queens to Jay Street, Brooklyn.  Further into the city, I don’t.  Traveling daily made me overcome my fear with public transportation.  Now I feel more like a New Yorker.

Now, I go to Manhattan to shop or go to parties/ bars.  I take the train as well.  I do feel more confident, but at the same time afraid.  Manhattan is indeed the city that never sleeps.  It’s chaotic.  There’s always traffic with people and cars; people bumping into each other, homeless people on every 2 blocks begging for money, smugglers trying to rob you, solicitors trying to sell you stolen accessories, people dancing or singing for money, and etc. The buildings are quite tall and jumbled together.  To me, there is no space to breathe.

New York is known for its skyscrapers, the empire state building, Time Square, the statue of Liberty, and the twin towers. For my whole life of living in New York, I’ve never been to the Empire state building or the statue of liberty. I do plan to one day; it really is a shame.

I love my New York.  I still don’t love the public transportation or the weird people you find on them, but I’ve overcame my fear with it.  I can travel just about anywhere by myself.  I am more confident and I am proud to feel that way.  I still am afraid of getting robbed, and of the weird people on the train, and the homeless people, but I’m used to it now.  “New York is MY New York”.