Portofino: More than a small Italian fishing village

Portofino: More than a small Italian fishing village

Portofino is an Italian fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. It is a comune located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is clustered around its small harbour, and is known for the colourfully painted buildings that line the shore.

According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf.

The village is mentioned in a diploma from 986 by Adelaide of Italy, which assigned it to the nearby Abbey of San Fruttoso di Capodimonte. In 1171, together with the neighbouring Santa Margherita Ligure, it was included in Rapallo’s commune jurisdiction. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa. The town’s natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa.

In 1409 Portofino was sold to the Republic of Florence by Charles VI of France, but when the latter was ousted from Genoa the Florentine gave it back. In the 15th century it was a fief of families such as the Fieschi, Spinola, Adorno and Doria.

In 1815 it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and, from 1861, of the unified Kingdom of Italy. In the late 19th century, first British, then other Northern European aristocratic tourists began to visit Portofino, which they reached by horse and cart from Santa Margherita Ligure. Aubrey Herbert and Elizabeth von Arnim were amongst the more famous English people to make the area fashionable.[5] Eventually more expatriates built expensive vacation houses, and by 1950 tourism had supplanted fishing as the town’s chief industry, and the waterfront was a continuous ring of restaurants and cafés.

Main sights

Statue of Christ of the Abyss, placed underwater on 29 August 1954 in the inlet at a depth of 17 metres (56 ft). This statue was placed to protect fishermen and scuba divers and in memory of Dario Gonzatti. Sculpted by Guido Galletti, it represents Christ in the act of blessing while looking up towards the sky with open arms in sign of peace.

Castello Brown (16th century).

Church of St. Martin (Divo Martino, 12th century).

Church of St. George, housing some saints’ relics.

Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, in Gothic style.

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

Venice is built on 118 islands, criss-crossed by 160 canals and linked by 400 foot-bridges. There are no roads, only canals; no traffic, only water buses and water taxis and the gondolas. A labyrinth of alleys and stairs and little bridges link the main waterways. Have coffee at Caffe Quadri, or Caffe Avena, or Caffe Florian (the oldest cafe in Venice) in the grandest square in Europe – Piazza San Marco. And you cannot go to Venice without calling in at Harry’s Bar, on the Grand Canal (entrance on Calle Vallaresso), made famous by Ernest Hemingway.

See the Palazzo Ducale, where the Doges lived in princely style; the Rialto bridge; the great Cathedral of St Mark (with Titian’s masterpiece, Last Judgement, in the Vault of Paradise); the Accademia art gallery; the Ca’ d’Oro the School of San Giorgio degli Schiavoni with famous Carpaccios and the School of San Rocco with magnificent Tintoretto paintings. If you climb the 15th century Clock Tower you have a superb view of the whole of Venice. When shopping in Venice things to look for include fine handmade lace, jewelry, leather goods, and above all, glass.

You could go to the island of Murano and see the glass being made, and Torcello, for its cathedral with beautiful mosaics. Luxury hotels in Venice include the Danieli Royal Excelsior, right next door to the Doge’s Palace, the Cipriani on Giudecca island and the Bauer Grünwald. Even if you do not stay there, it is a delightful place to dine and dance on the roof garden. Ernest Hemingway preferred the smaller, quieter, Gritti Palace. Dine at La Taverna Fenice, La Caravella, Harry’s Bar and Florians. For seafood try Al Graspo de Uva and Peoceto Risorto. Places to visit from Venice include: the Lido, just across the lagoon. It has a marvelous beach, with fine hotels like the Excelsior Palace.

Italians and Wine Culture

Italians and Wine Culture

Italians drink wine as an aperitif, with the meal and after the meal they finish off with a hair-raising distilled wine called grapa. Chianti is probably the best known Italian wine, but the quality varies, so look for the sign of the black cockerel on the label, and settle for reliable makes, like Frescobaldi, Melini and Ricasol. Other good red wines (rossi) are Barolo, Valpolicella, and a full-bodied wine from Scily called Corvo.

Connoisseurs say that Brunello de Montalcino is the best Italian red wine. Some of the best white wines are Orvieto, Frascati, and Soave and, if you like a sweet, light sparkling wine, Asti Spumante is very refreshing. Martini and Cinzano are famous Italian aperitifs, but for a change try Punt e Mes, or Campari. Strega is an interesting liqueur and Sambuca (tastes of licorice). In general, it is safer to order wine by the bottle or half-bottle rather than the carafe. Rome is ful of fascinating drinking places. Perhaps the best known is the Cafe de Paris, of La Doce Vita fame, on the famous via Veneto.

The Cafe Greco (via Condoti 86) was a favorite haunt of Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde and Buffalo Bill. Baretto, on the same street, is one of the places to be seen having your before-dinner drinks – if you can get in. Bar Zodiaco (viale Parco Bellini, 90), the lovely Monte Mario near Observatory, and the Bar Tre Scalini has a lovely terrace in one of Rome’s most beautiful squares, Piazza Navona. This is a great place for ice cream too.

Brasil: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Brasil: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana is a bairro (neighbourhood) located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is known for its 4 km balneario beach or 2.5 miles , which is one of the most famous in the world.

The district was originally called Sacopenapã (translated from the Tupi language, it means “the way of the socós (a kind of bird)”) until the mid-18th century. It was renamed after the construction of a chapel holding a replica of the Virgen de Copacabana, the patron saint of Bolivia.

Characteristics

Copacabana begins at Princesa Isabel Avenue and ends at Posto Seis (lifeguard watchtower Six). Beyond Copacabana, there are two small beaches: one, inside Fort Copacabana and the other, right after it: Diabo (“Devil”) Beach. Arpoador beach, where surfers go after its perfect waves, comes next, followed by the famous borough of Ipanema. The area will be one of the four “Olympic Zones” during the 2016 Summer Olympics. According to Riotur, the Tourism Secretariat of Rio de Janeiro, there are 63 hotels and 10 hostels in Copacabana.

Brasil: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana beach, located at the Atlantic shore, stretches from Posto Dois (lifeguard watchtower Two) to Posto Seis (lifeguard watchtower Six). Leme is at Posto Um (lifeguard watchtower One). There are historic forts at both ends of Copacabana beach; Fort Copacabana, built in 1914, is at the south end by Posto Seis and Fort Duque de Caxias, built in 1779, at the north end. One curiosity is that the lifeguard watchtower of Posto Seis never existed.[4] Hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs and residential buildings dot the promenade facing Avenida Atlantica.

Copacabana Beach plays host to millions of revellers during the annual New Year’s Eve celebrations and, in most years, has been the official venue of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

Amsterdam: A Quick Orientation

Amsterdam: A Quick Orientation

Amsterdam, in its physical aspect, is almost entirely a product of the so-called “Golden Age” of the Netherlands-that period in the 17th century when Holland surged to the near-pinnacle of world power, after its victory over Spain in the brutal Eighty Years War. It was during this period that the merchants of Amsterdam-then the dominant element in the city-laid out a pattern of gently-curving, concentric canals that occupy the central section of Amsterdam and constitute the city’s particular glory today. Amsterdam performs an essentially capital city service function for the rest of the Dutch economy.

The canals run in a fairly regular pattern that makes it quite easy to orient yourself. Starting at the Central Station, the first of the canals is the Singel. Then comes the Herengracht (“Gentlemen’s Canal”), then the Keizersgracht (“Emperor’s Canal”), and finally the Prinsengracht (“Prince’s Canal”). Along these canals the merchants of 17th-century Amsterdam then constructed what seem today like endless lines of gilded, patrician mansions and homes. These have, in recent years, been occupied by business firms, but their façades are absolutely untouched-and it is in this most beautiful centuries-old setting that you’ll want to spend most of your time in Amsterdam.

Crossing through this pattern of parallel, concentric canals, like the spokes of a wheel, are avenues, the most important of which is the Damrak, which starts at the Central Station and heads straight to the Dam Square, site of the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), and National Monument. From the Dam Square, this street becomes the Rokin, and veers a bit as it heads to the Mint Square (Muntplein), where the famous old Mint Tower Amsterdam stands, and where the Amstel River begins.

Near the Mint Square is the Rembrandtsplein (Rembrandt’s Square), one of the two major entertainment areas of Amsterdam; a bit further out, and to the west, is the Leidseplein (Leidse Square), the other entertainment section of Amsterdam, and the site of the Stadsschouw-burg (Municipal Theatre). And beyond this central area is a slightly more modern section where you’ll find the two great art museums of Amsterdam-the renowned Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum- as well as the famous home of its much-acclaimed orchestra, the Concertgebouw.

Japan: From Kyoto to Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyushu Island, Korea

Japan: From Kyoto to Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyushu Island, Korea

From Kyoto

Thanks to its perch in the relatively high latitudes, northeast Asia is the only part of the region that enjoys four distinct seasons-a climatic oddity that makes it curiously familiar for Westerners traveling in Japan, Korea, and parts of northern China. Cherry-blossom time is perhaps the best season to visit Japan (though beware of the crowds), and fall the best for Korea (where the colors easily rival those of New England). In China’s north and Russia’s far east, high summer or midwinter are best-warm sunlit evenings in July or magnificent snowy vistas in December.

Forget Tokyo as a base: Its monstrous international airport, Narita, happens to be so inconveniently sited-at the very least, two and a half hours from the average Tokyo hotel room-that it is actually the very last place to choose. By contrast, Osaka’s handsome new airport proves a very good jumping-off point and is well connected to its neighbor cities, and not least to the exquisite old Japanese capital of Kyoto-which means that you can spend a meditative morning communing with the stones in Ryoan-ji Temple or strolling the Philosopher’s Walk from Eikan-do to Ginkaku-ji before setting out, via what is called the new Kansai airport, on your adventure.

There ate–two further practical advantages to Osaka. First, flights from the Kansai field to Tokyo land not at the far away Narita but at the much handier Haneda Airport, only minutes from Tokyo’s city center; and second, Osaka-where there is a brand-new Imperial Hotel that is well worth seeing-is nearer to the major centers of South Korea, essential destinations for anyone wanting to have the full picture of what northeast Asia is all about.

To Tokyo

This, of course, has to be the prime destination, but it is invidious to offer specific sites of pilgrimage-the Imperial Palace, the Ginza, the 5 A.M. auctions at the Tsukiji fish market. Better to suggest things to do, such as Kabuki theater (marathan sessions are held at the Kabuki-za Theater in Ginza), or No drama (at the nearby Ginza No-Gakudo), or simply the amazing nightlife in such areas as Shinjuku or Roppongi. Whereas in smaller Japanese cities and towns it’s a good idea to have the (incredibly expensive) experience of staying in a local inn, a ryokan, in Tokyo you are better advised to stay at a Western-style hotel, of which the Seiyo Ginza and the Imperial remain among the best.

To Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji and the nearby hot spring region of Hakone are well within the two-hour range for train journeys from Kyoto. You climb the mountain (in Japan they say the wise man climbs it but only the fool climbs it twice), taking about four hours up, two down; warm clothing is essential if you climb at night-as you should, in order to witness goraiko, the sunrise, from the summit.In Hakone, where you can stay at astonishingly costly hotels like the Fujiya, one ofthe oldest Western-style hotels in the country, the attractions are legion-lakes, mountains, mud baths, ancient forests, and, if you’re lucky, morning views of Fuji-san looming over all.

To Kyushu Island

Here is where you come to know Japan best of all, however, by experiencing her traditions and her curiosities rather than by seeing her cities and her sights. But doing this demands same valor on the part of the casual visitor-nowhere more so than in the sampling of the onsen, the open-air bath. Try Beppu, where you can either bathe in a variety of types and temperatures of water or be buried up to the neck in hat sand on a volcanic beach. In Yufu-in, inland and near-by, the scene is more genteel and more beautifully and classically Japanese, and there are plenty of smaIl hotels with adjoining baths.

Also on Kyushu is the reborn town of Nagasaki-famous for its role as the first open city in pre-Meiji Japan and as the second city to be devastated by the American nuclear attacks in 1945. Hiroshima, two hours by train southwest of Osaka and still on the main island of Honshu, is equally well worth visiting.The two other main islands of Japan-the small and temple-filled Shikoku and the large and largely agricultural Hokkaido-are less frequently visited. For those with time (six weeks if on foot, a day if by bus), there is a memorable pilgrimage route that takes in all 88 temple site s on Shikoku; and for those with wintertime energy, the skiing around Sapporo is excellent. The Shikotsuko Hokkai Hotel here offers one of the few affordable Japanese ryokan experiences in the country.

To Korea

From Osaka Airport, it is quick and easy to reach Seoul, Pusan, and, with a little more effort, the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. While the sight of the Cold War, still very much alive and well at the armistice village of Panmunjom, may enthrall some, the little-known countryside of South Korea remains spectacularly beautiful: The unforgettable temple of Haein-sa near the city of Taegu is among the most notable places.Within locked rooms and guarded by monks lies one of the original Buddhist woodenblock libraries, the Tripitaka Koreana, carved in the thirteenth century; and the temple itself sits in a dreamlike panorama of misty mountains of unparalleled beauty-the perfect spiritual link to the fragile loveliness of the Kyoto temples.

Climate of the Pacific Islands

Climate of the Pacific Islands

One feature of oceanic islands which distinguishes them from continents and from many of the continental islands is the climate. The great body of water which surrounds oceanic islands never becomes so warm and never so cold as the land on and near continents.

Therefore the temperature of the air over the open ocean and around and over the oceanic islands does not rise so high or fall so low. For the same reason the winter and summer temperatures are not very far apart, and the climate does not differ much from month to month. Places in Mexico in the same latitude as Hawaii and places in Australia in the same latitude as Rapa have cold winters and hot summers.

Temperature

The average annual temperature of nearly all the Pacific oceanic islands is 70 degrees. Only in a region extending west from Fiji does the average reach 80 degrees, and only in the Aleutian Islands and in the islands lying south of New Zealand are the winters uncomfortably cold.

Winds

Because of the vast stretches of water over which they may blow without interruption, the winds of the Pacific are more regular and uniform than are the winds in any other part of the world. These winds blow in different directions in different parts of the Pacific. In the belt of ocean lying approximately between the parallel of latitude 3 degrees north, which runs through Midway Island, and the parallel of latitude 60 degrees north, near the Bering Sea, the winds come generally from the west and are known as ” westerly winds.”

From latitude 30 degrees north to near the equator the winds come from the northeast. For more than three hundred days in the year they blow so regularly and evenly that they have been called northeast trade winds (trade is the English form of an old word trod, which means path). Along the equator the winds blow feebly, generally from the east. From near the equator to latitude 30 degrees south are the southeast trade winds, and still farther south is the belt of strong westerly winds known to sailors as the “roaring forties.”

In the two trade-wind belts, the winds sometimes blow from a direction opposite to their usual course, bringing with them the kind of weather known in Hawaii as “Kona storms.” Sometimes the winds become hurricanes or typhoons. Most of these hurricanes occur in the region between the Marshall Islands and China and west and southwest of Samoa — in Micronesia, Melanesia-and farther west in the Indian Ocean.

But they sometimes occur in the winter months in Polynesia and are then very destructive. The houses may be torn down and. the trees broken and uprooted. The hurricane winds and the high waves which come with them have swept some low coral islands bare of trees, buildings, and men and have sunk the canoes along the shores. These winds and the ocean currents made by the winds have aided boats in sailing in some direoctions and hindered them in sailing in other directions.

Looking at Ground Zero, The World Trade Center Site

Looking at Ground Zero, The World Trade Center Site

The World Trade Center site, formerly known as “Ground Zero” after the September 11 attacks, is a 14.6-acre (59,000 m2) area in Lower Manhattan in New York City. The previous World Trade Center complex stood on the site until it was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Silverstein Properties, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation oversee the reconstruction of the site according to a master plan by Studio Daniel Libeskind. The site is bounded by Vesey Street to the north, the West Side Highway to the west, Liberty Street to the south, and Church Street to the east. The Port Authority owns the site’s land (except for 7 World Trade Center). Developer Larry Silverstein holds the lease to retail and office space in four of the site’s buildings.

While the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is often identified as the owner of the WTC site, the ownership situation is complex. The Port Authority indeed owns a “significant” internal portion of the site of 16 acres (65,000 m2), but has acknowledged “ambiguities over ownership of miscellaneous strips of property at the World Trade Center site” going back to the 1960s. It is unclear who owns 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) of the site, being land where streets had been before the World Trade Center was built.

Original buildings and September 11 attacks

The original World Trade Center was thought of as a North American cultural icon.[citation needed] At the time of their completion the “Twin Towers”, the original 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower), at 417 metres (1,368 ft), and 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower), were the tallest buildings in the world. The other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center (3 WTC), 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. All of these buildings were built between 1975 and 1985, with a construction cost of $400 million (equivalent to $2,300,000,000 in 2015 dollars). The complex was located in New York City’s Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

The World Trade Center experienced a fire on February 13, 1975, a bombing on February 26, 1993 and a robbery on January 14, 1998. In 1998, the Port Authority decided to privatize the World Trade Center, leasing the buildings to a private company to manage, and awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, both which were en route to Los Angeles, and intentionally crashed them into the two towers of the World Trade Center. The towers collapsed within two hours of the collisions.[ 2,606 people, including 2,192 civilians, 71 law enforcement officers, and 343 firefighters, who were in the towers and in the surrounding area died in the attacks, as well as 147 civilians and the 10 hijackers aboard the two airliners. After the collapse of the World Trade Center, hospital workers and law enforcement officers began referring to the World Trade Center site as “Ground Zero”.

New York History – Founding of the New Amsterdam

New York History - Founding of the New Amsterdam

The original name of the island wherein the squadron of Communipaw was thus propitiously thrown, is a matter of some dispute, and has already undergone considerable vitiation — a melancholy proof of the instability of all sublunary things, and the vanity of all our hopes of lasting fame! For who can expect his name will live to posterity, when even the names of mighty islands are thus soon lost in contradiction and uncertainty?

The name most current at the present day, and which is likewise countenanced by the great historian Vander Donck, is MANHATTAN; which is said to have originated in a custom among the squaws, in the early settlement, of wearing men’s hats, as is still done among many tribes. “Hence,” as we are told by an old governor who was somewhat of a wag, and flourished almost a century since, and had paid a visit to the wits of Philadelphia, “hence arose the appellation of man-haton, first given to the Indians, and afterwards to the island” — a stupid joke! — but well enough for a governor.

Among the more venerable sources of information on this subject, is that valuable history or the American possessions, written by Master Richard Blome in 1687, wherein it is called Manhadaes and Manahanent; nor must I forget the excellent little book, full of precious matter, of that authentic historian, John Josselyn, Gent., who expressly calls it Manadaes.

New York History - Founding of the New Amsterdam

Another etymology still more ancient, and sanctioned by the countenance of our ever-to-be-lamented Dutch ancestors, is that found in certain letters still extant; which passed between the early governors and their neighbouring powers, wherein it is called indifferently Monhattoes — Munhatos, and Manhattoes, which are evidently unimportant variations of the same name; for our wise forefathers set little store by those niceties either in orthography or orthoepy which form the sole study and ambition of many learned men and women of this hypercritical.

This last name is said to be derived from the great Indian spirit Manetho, who was supposed to make this island his favourite abode, on account of its uncommon delights. For the Indian traditions affirm that the bay was once a translucid lake, filled with silver and golden fish, in the midst of which lay this beautiful island, covered with every variety of fruits and flowers; but that the sudden irruption of the Hudson laid waste these blissful scenes, and Manetho took his flight beyond the great waters of Ontario.

These, however, are fabulous legends to which very cautious credence must be given; and although I am willing to admit the last quoted orthography of the name, as very suitable for prose, yet is there another one founded on still more ancient and indisputable authority, which I particularly delight in, seeing that it is at once poetical, melodious, and significant — and this is recorded in the before-mentioned voyage of the great Hudson, written by master Juet; who clearly and correctly calls it MANNA-HATA — that is to say, the island of Manna, or in other words — “a land flowing with milk and honey.”

It having been solemnly resolved that the seat of empire should be transferred from the green shores of Pavonia to this delectable island, a vast multitude embarked, and migrated across the mouth of the Hudson, under the guidance of Oloffe the Dreamer, who was appointed protector or patron to the new settlement.

And hear let me bear testimony to the matchless honesty and magnanimity of our worthy forefathers, who purchased the soil of the native Indians before erecting a single roof — a circumstance singular and almost incredible in the annals of discovery and colonization.

The first settlement was made on the south-west point of the island, on the very spot where the good St. Nicholas had appeared in the dream. Here they built a mighty and impregnable fort and trading house, called FORT AMSTERDAM, which stood on that eminence at present occupied by the customhouse, with the open space now called the Bowling-Green in front.

Around this potent fortress was soon seen a numerous progeny of little Dutch houses, with tiled roofs, all which seemed most lovingly to nestle under its walls, like a brood of halffledged chickens sheltered under the wings of the mother hen. The whole was surrounded by an inclosure of strong palisadoes, to guard against any sudden irruption of the savages, who wandered in hordes about the swamps and forests that extended over those tracts of country at present called Broadway, Wall-street, William-street, and Pearl-street.

No sooner was the colony once planted, than it took root and throve amazingly; for it would seem that this thrice-favoured island is like a munificent dunghill, where every foreign weed finds kindly nourishment, and soon shoots up and expands to greatness.

And now the infant settlement having advanced in age and stature, it was thought high time it should receive an honest Christian name, and it was accordingly called NEW- AMSTERDAM. It is true, there were some advocates for the original Indian name, and many of the best writers of the province did long continue to call it by the title of “Manhattoes;” but this was discountenanced by the authorities, as being heathenish and savage.

Besides, it was considered an excellent and praiseworthy measure to name it after a great city of the old world; as by that means it was induced to emulate the greatness and renown of its namesake — in the manner that little snivelling urchins are called after great statesmen, saints, and worthies and renowned generals of yore, upon which they all industriously copy their examples, and come to be very mighty men in their day and generation.

The thriving state of the settlement, and the rapid increase of houses, gradually awakened the good Oloffe from a deep lethargy, into which he had fallen after the building of the fort. He now began to think it was time some plan should be devised on which the increasing town should be built. Summoning, therefore, his counsellors and coadjutors together, they took pipe in mouth, and forthwith sunk into a very sound deliberation on the subject.

At the very outset of the business an unexpected difference of opinion arose, and I mention it with much sorrowing, as being the first altercation on record in the councils of NewAmsterdam. It was a breaking forth of the grudge and heartburning that had existed between those two eminent burghers, Mynheers Tenbroeck and Hardenbroeck, ever since their unhappy altercation on the coast of Bellevue. The great Hardenbroeck had waxed very wealthy and powerful, from his domains, which embraced the whole chain of Apulean mountains that stretched along the gulf of Kip’s Bay, and from part of which his descendants have been expelled in later ages by the powerful clans of the Joneses and the Schermerhornes.

An ingenious plan for the city was offered by Mynheer Tenbroeck, who proposed that it should be cut up and intersected by canals, after the manner of the most admired cities in Holland. To this Mynheer Hardenbroeck was diametrically opposed, suggesting in place thereof, that they should run out docks and wharves, by means of piles driven into the bottom of the river, on which the town should be built. By these means, said he triumphantly, shall we rescue a considerable space of territory from these immense rivers, and build a city that shall rival Amsterdam, Venice, or any amphibious city in Europe.

To this proposition, Ten Broeck (or Ten Breeches) replied, with a look of as much scorn as he could possibly assume. He cast the utmost censure upon the plan of his antago nist, as being preposterous, and against the very order of things, as he would leave to every true Hollander. “For what,” said he, “is a town without canals? — it is a body without veins and arteries, and must perish for want of a free circulation of the vital fluid.”

Tough Breeches, on the contrary, retorted with a sarcasm upon his antagonist, who was somewhat of an arid, dry-boned habit; he remarked, that as to the circulation of the blood being necessary to existence, Mynheer Ten Breeches was a living contradiction to his own assertion; for every body knew there had not a drop of blood circulated through his wind-dried carcass for good ten years, and yet there was not a greater busy-body in the whole colony. Personalities have seldom much effect in making converts in argument — nor have I ever seen a man convinced of error by being convicted of deformity.

At least such was not the case at present. Ten Breeches was very acrimonious in reply, and Tough Breeches, who was a sturdy little man, and never gave up the last word, rejoined with increasing spirit — Ten Breeches had the advantage of the greatest volubility, but Tough Breeches had that invaluable coat of mail in argument called obstinacy — Ten Breeches had, therefore, the most mettle, but Tough Breeches the best bottom — so that though Ten Breeches made a dreadful clattering about his ears, and battered and belaboured him with hard words and sound arguments, yet Tough Breeches hung on most resolutely to the last. They parted, therefore, as is usual in all arguments where both parties are in the right, without coming to any conclusion — but they hated each other most heartily for ever after, and a similar breach with that between the houses of Capulet and Montague did ensue between the families of Ten Breeches and Tough Breeches.

I would not fatigue my reader with these dull matters of fact, but that my duty as a faithful historian requires that I should be particular — and, in truth, as I am now treating of the critical period, when our city, like a young twig, first re. ceived the twists and turns that have since contributed to give it the present picturesque irregularity for which it is celebrated, I cannot be too minute in detailing their first causes.

After the unhappy altercation I have just mentioned. I do not find that any thing farther was said on the subject worthy of being recorded. The council, consisting of the largest and oldest heads in the community, met regularly once a week, to ponder on this momentous subject. But either they were deterred by the war of words they had witnessed, or they were naturally averse to the exercise of the tongue, and the consequent exercise of the brains — certain it is, the most profound silence was maintained — the question as usual lay on the table — the members quietly smoked their pipes, making but few laws, without ever enforcing any, and in the meantime the affairs of the settlement went on-as it pleased God.

As most of the council were but little skilled in the mystery of combining pot-hooks and hangers, they determined most judiciously not to puzzle either themselves or posterity with voluminous records. The secretary, however, kept the minutes of the council with tolerable precision, in a large vellum folio, fastened with massy brass clasps; the journal of each meeting consisted but of two lines, stating in Dutch, that “the council sat this day, and smoked twelve pipes, on the affairs of the colony.”

By which it appears that the first settlers did not regulate their time by hours, but pipes, in the same manner as they measure distances in Holland at this very time; an admirably exact measurement, as a pipe in the mouth of a true-born Dutchman is never liable to those accidents and irregularities that are continually putting our clocks out of order. It is said, moreover, that a regular smoker was appointed as council clock, whose duty was to sit at the elbow of the president and smoke incessantly: every puff marked a division of time as exactly as a second-hand, and the knocking out of the ashes of his pipe was equivalent to striking the hour.

In this manner did the profound council of NEW- AMSTERDAM smoke, and doze, and ponder, from week to week, month to month, and year to year, in what manner they should construct their infant settlement — meanwhile, the town took care of itself, and like a sturdy brat which is suffered to run about wild, unsackled by clouts and bandages, and other abominations by which your notable nurses and sage old women cripple and disfigure the children of men, increased so rapidly in strength and magnitude, that before the honest burgomasters had determined upon a plan, it was too late to put it in execution — whereupon they wisely abandoned the subject altogether.

What was New York like during World War II

What was New York like during World War II

Wartime New York City, was, however, to be a far more carefree place than London or Paris, as commentators from areas closer to the war effort neglected no opportunity to show. To be sure, there was for a time a dim-out, ordered not so much through fear of bombs as because the glow of the city’s lights silhouetted shipping for enemy U-boats lurking out at sea. In this halfway measure, the streets were still lighted, a British visitor of 1942 reported; but the “glaring advertisements” which formerly kept Broadway “in perpetual light” were now extinguished, and “all windows above the 10th floor… screened.”

New Yorkers gained some sense of participation in the struggle as air-raid precautions, inaugurated six months before Pearl Harbor, were “practiced and more or less perfected,” sirens were tested, and wardens and plane spotters began to stand watch on tall buildings and rural hilltops. Women took over tasks formerly performed by men–driving cabs, operating elevators, and serving as telegraph messengers–when Selective Service pulled nearly 900,000 New Yorkers into uniform.

The rationing of food and gasoline prompted the most obvious sacrifices, at least for those to whom the black market was not available. But for New Yorkers without close friends or relatives overseas, the sight of servicemen on leave and of the cargo vessels and tankers, “lined up on the Hudson and East River, with their camouflage and artillery, awaiting the formation of convoys,” constituted the closest contact with the shooting war.

What was New York like during World War II

To the casual observer, New York seemed hardly touched by the conflict. The British novelist James L. Hodson saw no sign of a dimout in the winter and spring of 1943-1944; and the naivete of the airraid instructions he found in his hotel bedroom showed him “how far” New York really was “from the war.” At Christmas time the city was gay with holiday decorations.

Cocktail parties preceded dinners boasting menus “astounding to British eyes.” The season was described as “the craziest Christmas for spending” ever known. “There is no war here,” Carlos Romulo contended, in amazement, when he reached New York shortly after the fall of the Philippines. He was horrified at what appeared to be the “holiday air of the people,” rushing madly about–in a “Coney-Island” dim-out–“spending fabulous sums as if they were in the midst of a carnival.”

Only after he had observed the city more closely did the Philippine statesman realize that New York, too, was fighting the war-giving blood, buying bonds, and, above all, moving men and goods in a degree that contributed significantly to victory. The city’s surface frivolity, he ultimately concluded, was in part, at least, a reflection of the way that New York showed its fighting spirit. It was a consequence, too, as other commentators were aware, of the very nature of New York’s most important wartime contribution–the production and movement of goods essential to the war effort.

As production expanded and shipping throve, wages increased, and New Yorkers had more to spend than ever before. At the same time, fewer necessities were available for purchase as a result of wartime restrictions. Hence an unprecedented portion of the worker’s income was at hand for spending at theatres, movie houses, race tracks, restaurants, and bars. It was this, in the opinion of Pierre de Lanux, which caused the erroneous impression that “what was happening overseas had no repercussion on life in the United States” and gave service personnel returning from combat the generally unjustified feeling that New Yorkers were blind to the realities of the conflict.

De Lanux is the authority, too, for New York’s reaction to the victory when it came in 1945. Despite the scarcity of paper, ticker tape rained on Broadway following news of the German armistice in May; and with the defeat of Japan, in August, the sobering implications of Hiroshima did not prevent New Yorkers from staging a real celebration. “From the dignified flag-bedecked residences, uptown, to the gaudily decorated tenements of the East Side and ‘Little Italy,’ the national colors floated amid clouds of confetti, cheering cries, the honking of horns, and the wail of sirens,” the French chronicler reported.

The churches were filled in the morning; then a general rejoicing took possession of the entire city, which reached a climax by evening. At Times Square, the crowds were so dense that the police had difficulty intervening when soldiers and sailors, sharing their joy with the civilians, “embraced and mussed up some of them” in the bargain. “Statisticians will never say exactly how much alcoholic beverage passed from production to consumption that night,” de Lanux asserted, “but the figure would certainly be expressed in tons rather than liters.”

Like the commentators of earlier days, those of the thirties and forties recognized the role of the port in the city’s economy, especially in connection with the nation’s colossal war operation; but increasingly their attention turned to the magnitude of the city’s industrial output, as well. Referring to New York of the mid-forties as “the greatest manufacturing town on earth,” John Gunther pointed out, in his Inside U. S. A., that Manhattan alone employed “more wage earners than Detroit and Cleveland put together,” Brooklyn more than Boston and Baltimore, and Queens more than Washington and Pittsburgh, combined. More persons were engaged in New York’s garment trades than made automobiles in Detroit or steel in Pittsburgh, according to a similar comment in the New York Times.