The cities of USA (20088-1)Посмотреть архив целиком
The cities of USA.
Introduction. America. Where to live?
Capital of the World. New York.
Alaska. Anchorage. The Russian soul.
LA. City of Angels.
Chicago. The faces of its people.
Boston. City or University?
Miami. Wellcome to Paradise!
Salt Lake City. Home of Olimpic magie.
1. Introduction. America. Where to live?
The USA is a very huge country. By its territory it stands on the third place after Russia and Canada. But of course the territory is nothing without the people leaving there and the cities that they build. Imagine you want to go to live in the United states because of some of your reasons, and imagine also you have no relatives and no friends there. But you have the freedom and enough money to leave in any place and in any city in America. What you choose? Little city somwhere on the seashore where you can see how the sun set, or the big meropolitan conglomerat from which you can reach any country in the world? All the cities have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s we examine some of them!
2. Capital of the World. New York.
The first city which we are going to view as a possible place of living is… New York of course. There is a proverb that Pares is the capital of Europe and New York is the capital of the world. Of course after well-known events of 11 of September New York lost a lot of its power but anyway it remains one of the biggest cities of America. At first a little glance to the history…
Its supoorters hailed the creation of Greater New York as an event of historic significance on a par with the founding of Rome. Yet in the early light of Jan. 1, 1898, things didn't appear too different from before. No one among the five boroughs' 3.5 million residents proposed starting a new calendar, as the Romans had, ab urbe condita, "from the founding of the city."
In the sprawling slums of New York, the so-called other half lived as it always had, mostly hand to mouth. The tenement districts, concentrated near the Manhattan and Brooklyn shorelines, were home to notoriously squalid and overcrowded conditions, a source of misery to those who endured them and a concern to those who studied them.
Activists like Lillian Wald tried to relieve the physical suffering of the immigrant poor and help them find means of escape. Others were increasingly alarmed by the increasing presence of foreigners. In 1902, almost 500,000 immigrants landed at Ellis Island. By the end of the decade, the annual total reached a million. A quarter of them stayed in New York.
In 1908, Police Commissioner Theodore Bingham published an article in The North American Review in which he contended that at least half the city's criminals were Jews. The face of Italian immigrants, wrote Charles Bancroft, a doctor who worked on Ellis Island, displayed "a lack of intelligence." A powerful clique of eugenicists began to argue that the new immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe were genetically prone to crime, disease and depravity and should be kept out.
The attention of those who worried about the future of Greater New York wasn't limited to the behavior of the most newly arrived.
In 1899, Mark Twain wrote that if the United States were really interested in overthrowing corrupt and oppressive tyranny, it should send the Marines to occupy Tammany Hall instead of to fight insurrectionists in the Philippines.
Presiding over the new metropolis was Mayor Robert Van Wyck, handpicked for the job by the Tammany Hall boss Richard Croker. In 1899, the Mazet Investigation, pursuing yet another exposé of municipal corruption, put Croker on the stand. Asked if he was working for his own pocket, Croker retorted, "All the time, same as you."
An immigrant himself, part of the wave of Irish inundating the city in the 1840's and 50's, Croker was at once crass, cynical and sophisticated. He helped assert the newcomers' presence in the one area in which their numbers mattered: politics.
Yet when his candidate for mayor was defeated in 1901, even Croker seemed to recognize that his New York - the wide-open town of sports and pleasure hounds -- was done for. In spring 1902, he took his spoils and sailed into exile.
The leadership of Tammany Hall passed to Charles Francis Murphy. The new boss understood that his increasingly Jewish and Italian constituents wanted more than crumbs of political patronage or the occasional satisfaction of sticking a thumb in the eye of the patrician elite. Along with his protégés, Al Smith and Robert Wagner, Murphy put Tammany Hall in pursuit of winning elections by supporting significant social and economic reform.
The cleanup of New York had been gathering momentum for a generation. Backed by an alliance of clergy, industrialists and moral crusaders, the attack on corruption, rowdiness and overt sexual misconduct intersected with the rising tide of progressivism. Oscar Wilde had once admonished a New York audience that "in the race between vice and virtue, the wise money will be on vice, no matter what handicaps are laid upon it." But it was virtue, at and immediate sign that a new day had arrived was the astounding physical transformation that soon followed the consolidation. By the time Croker left New York in 1902, the long-awaited subway was halfway completed. The newly finished Flatiron Building punctuated the city's emerging verticality. A second East River crossing, the Manhattan Bridge, was under way. A third was planned.
In November 1902, Harper's Weekly judged that it was "as if some mighty force were astir beneath the ground, hour by hour pushing up structures that a dozen years ago would have been inconceivable." By mid-century, Harper's predicted, New York would be a world capital "unrivaled in magnitude, splendor and power." A month later, the City Council took a giant step in that direction when it granted the Pennsylvania Railroad the right to carry out a construction program to join its western and Long Island lines in a Manhattan terminal.
It was one of the largest nongovernment projects ever undertaken, and the master plan called for tunnels beneath the Hudson and East Rivers, electrified tracks, signals and switches, a power plant in Long Island City, sprawling train yards in Sunnyside and the world's largest railroad-arch bridge, over Hell Gate. The capstone was the colossal new train station to be built in midtown.
In charge of the station's construction was Charles Follen McKim, of McKim, Mead & White, then the country's most prestigious architecture firm; McKim's Beaux-Arts design was predicated on the conviction that form didn't follow function, but magnified and ennobled it. McKim intended that Pennsylvania Station would never be mistaken for a mere terminal or a transfer point. The towering travertine columns, glass roofs and soaring interiors told all who entered that they had arrived in a metropolis as self-assured and powerful as any on earth.
Ground was broken in 1904. In the six years it took to complete Penn Station, the city continued to molt its skin. A magnificent library rose on the site of the old Croton Reservoir on 42d Street. The ramshackle Grand Central Terminal was torn down and a stunning replacement soon graced midtown. The Singer Building pushed the skyline to new heights. The seedy stables and saloons around Longacre Square gave way to a new theater district, and the area itself, at the behest of the newspaper that built its headquarters there in 1904, was renamed Times Square.
The first decade of Greater New York had its share of turmoil and tragedy. Racial disturbances broke out in the Tenderloin district in 1900. The 1904 fire aboard the steamship General Slocum killed more than a thousand people. A financial panic hit Wall Street in 1907.
Yet the poised expanse of Pennsylvania Station, with its blend of Roman splendor and American industrial might, testified to the city's underlying confidence and optimism. Like the mighty Ozymandias of Shelley's poem, it embodied the exuberant delusion that there are human achievements so grandly conceived and imposingly constructed that they are immune to time and the wrecking ball.
3. Alaska. Anchorage. The Russian soul.
At all all the history of America is the history of immigrants. They had brought their own culture and rules to the territories where they inhabite. It is very interesting to see America like a mosaic of diffrent cultures, and without the every part of that mosaic it canùt be the full picture. But for us, for Russian people the post interesting part of America is of course Alaska. There we feel the precence of Russian spirit.
On March 30, 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, about two cents an acre; "Seward's Folly" many called it, after Secretary of State William H. Seward. On January 3, 1959, Alaska, with a land mass larger than Texas, California and Montana combined, became the 49th state in the union. It is a large state, 1/5 the size of all the other states together, reaching so far to the west that the International Date Line had to be bent to keep the state all in the same day. It's also the only U.S. state extending into the Eastern Hemisphere. In Alaska, the "family car" has wings, vegetables and fruit grow to two times their normal size and moose interrupt golf games when they feel like it.
The name "Alaska" was used by the Russians to refer only to the peninsula. This name was used by the United States to refer first to the entire Territory and then to the State after its purchase in 1867.
The name "Alaska" is taken from the Aleut word "aláxsxaq" that refers to an object to which the sea is directed, in this case the mainland.