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Contemporary New York (essay)

Wall Street remained the epicenter of American capitalism, a true icon of the most success driven society on the planet. The city of New York remained the national center for both culture and education; with an outstanding number of museums and colleges. Broadway theatre was about to embark on its most preposterous era. How could a population of only 3.1 percent of Americans dominate the spirit of the age?

After the election in November 1980, Ronald Reagan proposed to the change in American political thoughts. Reagan embodied his hopes and frustrations, encouraging Congress to cut taxes and reduce national spending on social programs such as housing and welfare. Doing this reoriented American’s self-reliance characteristics.  Reagan’s emphasis on individual accomplishment and smaller government represented values congenial to most Americans. New York’s budgetary reliance on federal and state aid programs had been escalating since 1961, and systematic reductions in funding aid caused a substantial suffering in a recovering city.  The nations most liberal city progressively declined, each city budget of this decade became a battlefield. In 1981 the “savior” of New York; Edward I. Koch won a second term in election. Morley the cities social problems were disappearing, but crime became a major issue in 1981.

Even though Koch was performing his daily budget balance, there is existed some unacknowledged perception that the city was only becoming more poor. It was said that the mayor was unseeingly creating alliance with building and real estate interest, creating deals with businesses. The municipal economy was rapidly strengthening.

Although the accounts of both mayors Koch and Bloomberg faced many economic hardships. The underclass and the population of New Yorkers both put up with the Koch and Bloomberg Administrations, leading them eventually to strength.


Midtown Manhattan is a  place that has redefined architecture . It is a place where  you are not looking for details and intricacies in a building design, but at the grandiosity of defying the  some of the logics we have about how high a building can be built. It has become a center of attraction for the world. It is city that represents the hopes and dreams that draw many people from around the world.  It represents the hope people bring with them when the move to this city. The hope of anything is possible. The dream of aiming for the stars. These buildings gives that hope in style and there presence. The show that this is a small island but the character of its buildings gives that hope people dream of when they move to this city. You can reach the stars.

The architecture  in NYC has created it’s own artistic language that defies the ways we view architecture of previous time. The architecture is there to show that we are grand and we can do anything. Like a famous song “New York the place where dreams are made” of is showcased in the architecture.

New York City. A Short History / essay

New York City.  A Short History

by George J. Lankevich  (pgs. 230-234 and pgs. 256-257)


The first section of the reading, Chapter 11 “Contemporary New York” detailed New York City in the 1980’s.  The accounts about the economic, financial and social issues facing New Yorkers under the governance of Mayor Edward Koch, appeared to be pretty well-organized and thorough.  The author was knowledgeable in his detailing of the events and the climate during this period.  He accurately connected what was going on in Washington, DC under Ronald Reagan and how that budgetary decisions made and the financial crisis during that period negatively impacted New Yorkers.  While reading the book, I was reminded of a similar historical account on New York City, titled, “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898” by Edwin G. Burrows, which was considerably more in-depth and overall much more interesting.  What I did find most interesting in this book was that the author chose to break up the history of New York into different sections, all of which mirrored the time periods of elected officials such as the governor and the mayors who were in office at the time of the account.  The author tended to lay blame on the elected officials for the problems of the period, without giving much regard to the fact that the problems and deficits were usually inherited.

Although the accounts of both mayors (Koch and Bloomberg) included factual information as it relates to dates, decisions and data, the author lacked an interesting writing style.  It is my opinion that the author did not draw the reader (specifically this reader) into the story. Instead, the author came across as being flat and one-dimensional.  Another flaw was that the author did not focus enough attention to the economic hardships faced by the underclass (or 99%) of the population of New Yorkers in the city under both the Koch and Bloomberg Administrations.  I also believed that the author did dedicate as much real estate in the text to those individuals who were consistently being marginalized.  Another flaw that I experienced with the text is that there are so many interesting facets of what makes New York a great city, that the author did not focus enough attention on.  Some of these items include the Arts, Culture, Cuisine and Social Life.  All of these aspects contributed to making New York the epi-center of the world.  Lastly, I believe that although the author appeared to be intelligent in regurgitating the factual information, I felt as if he did not convey an opinion or perspective on any of the events that transpired over the years, nor was he drawn to or bothered by any of the historical figures that appeared on the pages of the book.  I was hoping for something inspirational and/or motivational to jump off the pages but unfortunately that never happened instead I was bored and uncommitted.


cris morales opinion essay

Contemporary New York

                When it comes to how New York changes during harsh times, both during and after, it depends on how bad things were and what was effected that brings the change. In my opinion I think that some of the ways we as a city change are ridiculous and very expensive. Its not that there isn’t any reason for it, its just that the sometimes over compensating isn’t necessary. For example the freedom towers that replace the world trade center are great structures and pay condolences to its predecessor, the only problem is that it looks like it cost more than what originally stood there. The idea of rebuilding structures to pay condolences is great, but spending so much money on a building without even having detail to it, any sense of creativity is just a waste.

Comparing the New York Public Library to the Ford Foundation is based on the design and the detail of both buildings respectively. When you see how the structure looks and all the detail on you are able to notice that it’s from a later time than the ford foundation, which doesn’t have the type of detailing as the library does. The library cost approximately $245 million, based on the details of the column and the statues and the pediments it makes sense that it would cost that much. The problem is when you look at the Ford Foundation, which cost $16 million to make, doesn’t have the kind of detail for an expensive building, the main attraction is the atrium that is surrounded by offices, basic architectural knowledge states that glass is cheaper than the material that is used to make walls. If that’s the case then why is the building so expensive if most of it consists of glass? It just seems that things become more expensive as time goes by, when it should be the other way around, if the New York Public Library were to be built in recent times the price to have it built would skyrocket because of all the detail that it has on it. To conclude I believe that just because times are changing that doesn’t mean buildings and their prices should change.


blog #2

On our trip to midtown, i noticed a huge difference in styles of architecture from the late 1800s to the modern era. There is a great change in the small details in the more modern building, mostly none at all. when you see the New York Stock Exchange and the detail, the angels and other figures molded to take form, you see elegance in the building. Opposing it is the Chrysler building, a skyscraper that is basic extrusions piled on top of each other. It is a great site to see but when it comes from the evolution of architecture, the detail that made the Stock Exchange so great to look at. Its just windows and metal. whats so bad about making a few details in different parts of the building to make it resemble the buildings before it? I’m sure that if buildings whole be more detailed then people would appreciate the architecture more.




Daniel-Lankevich Opinion Essay

In my opinion, Contemporary New York looks like a passionate image. If people spoke out and described New York to others with vivid words and a strong vocabulary, NYC will be noticed. NYC has tons of art and different types of architecture that gives off different feelings for the community. With the knowledge that NYC gives, you need to be prepared and mindful of what is needed to work in a business environment, and to grow as an individual. I expect to get a great education that will get me to my desired career in NYC.
In New York, during the 1980’s, it was a very stressful time. It was a time where filth and rats flourished the streets and crime was an all time high. The economy was worse then its ever been and Edward I. Koch became a savior of New York with his actions. Koch realized that the city faced a future of austerity instead of the growth he had blithely pledged. Recovery was hard with violence roaming the streets. The leading cause of death was AIDS. By Koch’s election, it effected construction for the AT&T Building in 1984 ans was judged a success. Housing units were big weeks on. These apartments just to provide shelter for the homeless and those who were ill. Both jobs and construction boomed. As helped became needed, more work came into play which lead into a full functional and cleaner NYC.

My trip to New York City!

What makes New York City so great? I wonder on why people speak so highly of it and some even wish to move here. On our field trip it finally hit me. For me it all revolves around the theater. Tons of great stuff going on in NYC, and it’s so cultural diverse that it is almost like I have seen and done it all. People who live in the city don’t appreciate the architecture as much as others do. When we speak of a building and show a picture off the web, it doesn’t give the same impression that a picture gives. When I walk in manhattan, I focus on the skyscrapers and though it makes me look like a tourist, I appreciate and distinguish certain aspects that everyday people don’t. People need to think back and remember that NYC began careers for many. We invented hip hop, one of the first to use the grid system,one of the largest skyscrapers at that time and have our bars open till 4am! NYC has pretty much anything to eat at any time too! We are the home to music and performing arts. These structures are not just for looks but they display what they have going on inside of them. Such buildings have odd shapes because of what story they tell inside. On the field trip, one building that caught my attention was the NYC public library. What makes this structure so fascinating is that it was creating with no technology we use today and yet it is still standing strong. The tall massive columns are astonishing when standing next to. The pediment is highly detailed. I like this building because this to me is a true definition of architecture and may it forever tell it’s story.

Blog 3: Downtown Manhattan

Our trip to downtown Manhattan fulfilled my longstanding wish to see the Woolworth Building up close in person. Although I work only a few blocks away from the building I have never had the opportunity to go visit it in person. One of America’s  first early skyscrapers, the Woolworth building stands amongst other terracotta tiled buildings in the midst of the tourist infested downtown Manhattan. The building’s neo-Gothic style and brilliantly decorated exterior gives off a cathedral-like vibe that, in my opinion, no photograph that I have seen was able to capture. I learned that the pyramid top on the tower is actually made of copper that changed its’ color to the bright pastel green from 100 years of exposure to the elements. Since I have only seen this building in pictures and movies, I also did not know that the H-shaped building was braced at the back with steel beams.

I also found myself caught off guard when I realized that I was staring at Frank Gehry’s Spruce street building and did not recognize it. Perhaps it was because of the overcast sky and the lack of sunlight that caused the otherwise visually dynamic building to look meek and flat, or maybe it is only meant to be viewed from across the river, whatever the reason, I was a little shocked to find myself standing so close to it without being able to identify it.

Blog 2

The Erie Canal opened in 1825 making a direct connection from the west to the east for the very first time. It has a tremendous influence in the history of New York for it had helped the city prosper in trade beyond the ports. Before the Erie Canal was constructed, any trade between the east and the west required long journeys through the Allegheny Mountains. Right from the inception of the Erie Canal, it had proven to be a success. New York became the busiest port in North America, shipping and moving tons of good per day through the canal. New York City certainly was not the only state to benefit from the Erie Canal, by means of the canal, the importance of New Orleans as the economic capital of the nation was largely supplanted as well. With the development of the steam boat, the canal became even more important, as goods were then shipped upstream from the Midwest, then by the canal to the port cities of the Northeast.

People from New York started migrating westward in great numbers for the first time but the stream of immigrants still flooded the city. The rapidly growing population culminated in poor living conditions and overcrowded streets. In the 1830’s small apartments were resultant factors of the stream of immigrants that came. These tenements were small and dark and unsanitary. The rooms were windowless and were linked together. Between buildings there were communal water closets. There was a lack of proper plumping and draining which spread disease and illness. Tenement laws were passed and by 1850 the tenements were required to have natural light and cellars were replaced.

Reflection: Contemporary New York

During the late 20th century New York was shrouded by a dark cloud that overshadowed the glitz and luster that the city was known for. The city was going through a difficult time. From the ever increasing financial dependency, to rise in crimes, murder, drugs and AIDS. There was a steady decline in population. After mayor Koch was elected, he sought to resolve the issues that his predecessors were not able to solve. The first two years of office ran smoothly where he quickly became a favorite among the residents of the city, but near the end of his second mayoral term he was faced with a major scandal. Many of his elected officials were in jail because of corruption and bribery. It was shocking to learn that the people of New york, who are so often labeled as tough and unforgiving, elected him as mayor for the third time.

The 80’s brought iconic buildings that are now known around the world. The construction of the World Trade Center had started and the new era of post modern architecture was introduced. The once AT&T building, currently known as the Sony building, by architect Phillip Johnson is one of the few famous examples of post modern architecture that is still standing today in New York.

Contemporary New York in my opinion looks like an enthusiastic art collector’s home. If buildings were paintings, then New York would be the Louvre. The wide variety of styles, from Greek revival, art deco, beaux arts, post modernism to international style, New York City has it,  and has had it all by every famous architect of their respected time. Perhaps that is why no matter how much tragedy and hardship the city goes through, or no matter how much the people suffer with it, every New Yorker will proudly (stubbornly) say, that “there is no better place to live, than New York City.”