When you afford to New York again or maybe for the first time, please read The New York Nobody Knows Walking 6000 Miles in the city by William B.Helmreich because it's plenty of informations and you will be prepared to visit the Big Apple with different eyes and a different conscience. Plus, the author is plenty of humanity and I find the narration captivating, felt.
While I was reading the book I could imagine the author walking along the crowded streets of New York searching for an interesting story, something to report.
It's a city-story and it's a common saying this one: you can't know a big city very well if you don't start to walk discovering its inner sides.
It's a saying known for every big city of this world. Walking is a natural activity and walking in a big city can permit us to discover hidden spots, faces, something peculiar that differently couldn't never be seen.
The author took the story pretty seriously. This book is the result of his main activity during that period: he walked. Yes: also in the most dangerous places, neighborhoods of New York Per miles and miles everyday and then once returned home he wrote down what he thought without any interruption for not losing the fresh perceptions, the fresh intuitions he perceived while he was "on the road." His feelings, people he met, little interviews with strangers, with important people, feelings, sensations, mixing all of it with the cultural history of this city, and its important and main resource: immigration, the pulsing heart of New York City.
William B.Helmreich hasn't never been injured while he was walking, but he previously read a book about the correct behavior to keep when a person walks in difficult places and it helped a lot, like also it helped to wearing the perfect outfit for every occasion and place.
New York is a city populated by the entire world! Italians, Irish, Jewish, Muslims, people from the most distant places try to reach a better future in this city.
New York City doesn't have a lot of clandestine immigrants but according to Ed Koch in an interview of 2012 the city shouldn't cultivate illegality talking about illegal immigrants.
Mayor Bloomberg said to the author that they did all their best for helping the change. More beautiful schools, parks, places, safe streets and cultural opportunities.
Immigrants: they love to keep some contact with their distant land and Mr Helmreich discovered it happens with....flowers as well! A man created a garden with exotic flowers: the flowers of his land, Guyana. That man told him that planting these flowers important for not losing a contact with his distant country.
Each ethnic group keep its own traditions. Italians, Irish, Jewish, Muslins, for example love to bring their children in their own schools, maintaining also the "heart" of their own culture: language, traditions, food, music, movies and each community in the most diversified corners of NYC lives united like a little big village but they are also known because of their professions.
Parks, sports, beautiful spots of New York: William B.Helmreich photographed an interesting city, less violent, more friendly than not the New York City of 30 years ago. Substantially 9/11 changed in better paradoxically the face of this city.
New Yorkers understood that unity is better than division.
I thank so much for the physical copy of this beautiful book Princeton University Press.
Anna Maria Polidori