Before New York City was the place we all know, love, and consider home, it was a land that belonged to the Native Americans. Every part of Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island was composed of different territories. The tribes bartered, fought, and made other kinds of unconventional deals to widen their territory and add better value to their empire. In present day, the Native Americans’ presence is absent, but their territory names remain as a consistent reminiscence of their existence. Another tradition that stayed alive was the constant push and pull of territories.
Regardless if it was treaties of the Canarsee tribe (of the Canarsie boundary) with the Montauk territory or changing a manufacturing zone into residential to support the rise of trendy live-work studios, the overall aesthetic seems to linger in our concurrent way of life. Instead of the means of trading and war of the past, we have adapted our culture to a vast form of politicism.
According to both “My Brooklyn” and “Citizen Jane,” it is clear to see how money, bribes, and power influences most changes in the city. After watching both films, I found it apparent to see how financial gain really contributes to changes in the city and just how long New York City has been facing this type of political system. I saw the similarities in both films since the mayor (of the time) seemed to always be a big part in the various changes. Both Robert Moses and Michael Bloomberg appeared to have played the same roles in each respective movie; their public image being a mixture of love/hate. It is strangely obvious and proven by both documentaries that having both the financial backing and support of the mayor is an important ingredient to successfully making any change in New York City.