New York City has been described as the cultural, educational, business, financial, media, entertainment, and tourist capital of the world. It has been the setting for many books, movies, and TV shows. It is one of the highest-income places in the U.S. with the highest cost of living, but also has the most profound level of income inequality, higher than most developing countries.
New York City has the largest metropolitan Chinese diaspora outside Asia, and over 6 percent of New Yorkers are Chinese. New York is by far the leading metropolitan gateway for legal immigrants.
The Statue of Liberty has greeted millions of immigrants from Europe since 1886 and is a symbol of the United States and its ideals of Liberty and Peace.
After World War II, the newly formed United Nations built its headquarters on international territory in Manhattan next to the East River. It was the dream of President Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York, and there was never any consideration that the proper location was New York.
It has become the largest, most familiar, and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. It was conceived to prevent wars and since its founding no World Wars have been fought.
In 1964, newly widowed Jackie Kennedy made her home in a 15th floor penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park. The same things that attracted her to New York attracted everyone else. She became active in the Historic Preservation Movement and was active in the successful campaign to save Grand Central Station from demolition. After her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, died, she became a book editor for several New York publishers. She was an international fashion icon and became “The most intriguing woman in the world.”
In 1972, the movie “The Godfather,” set in New York, filmed in New York, premiered (where else?) in New York. It was the story of how a son, raised to have a life outside of crime, is transformed from a reluctant family outsider to a ruthless Mafia boss. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential films ever made and is ranked as the 2nd greatest film in American cinema history.
The next year, George Steinbrenner took over the struggling New York Yankees. One of his limited partners said, “There is nothing quite so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner.”
He was famous for hiring, firing, and re-hiring managers. One manager said, “The first time he fires you, it’s traumatic. The three or four times after that, it’s great, I’ve got the rest of the day off!”
During his 37-year ownership, the Yankees earned 11 pennants and 7 World Series titles. He did much good for the Yankees and the city.
After 9/11, Mayor Rudy Giuliani said: “Tomorrow, New York is going to be here, and we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before. I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”
David Thompson grew up in suburban Connecticut and visited New York City often. Thompson will present “New York City, Part 1,” in its entirety at “Talks on Tuesday” at the Sierra Vista Public Library on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. He can be reached at David.Thompson1415@gmail.com.