My Brief Historic Guide about New York

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My Brief Historic Guide about New York
My Brief Historic Guide about New York
by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
Solo he estado dos veces en Nueva York New York aunque tengo la sensación feeling de haber
estado allí toda mi vida. Aun no he logrado saber por que me atrae tanto. Quizá sea por su
cosmopolitismo, quizá por la vista de sus rascacielos en el horizonte skyline, quizá por el estilo de vida
de sus gentes o quizá por las experiencias que mi abuelo materno contaba de la ciudad en su etapa de
emigrante a principios del siglo XX. De la misma forma que uno desconoce los motivos por los que se
enamora de alguien, y lo único importante es pasar el resto de su existencia con esa persona; nunca me
pregunto I nerver question myself porqué siempre quise vivir allí; por eso volveré a Nueva York
siempre que tenga la menor ocasión. Mucha gente prepara su jubilación en lugares tranquilos. Yo, en
cambio, sueño con finalizar mis días en la Gran Manzana The Big Apple. Quizá sea una quimera o un
amor platónico, no lo sé, pero soñar sigue siendo gratis.
Con esta guía quiero transmitirte mis sensaciones sobre Nueva York , a través de sus edificios
buildings, de sus barrios neighborhoods/zones, de su corta pero interesante historia, de sus museos
museums, de su ambiente atmosphere, de sus espectáculos, de sus tiendas, de sus parques, del pulso
vital de sus gentes… No alcanzo a ver si con tus 16 ó 17 años tendrás una percepción de Nueva York
similar a las de un profesor de secundaria con 49 años a cuestas; de lo que estoy seguro es que Nueva
York no te dejará indiferente. Tienes mucha suerte de poder estudiar aquí inglés durante tres
semanas, no solo con tus compañeros del IES Julián Marías, sino con gente de todos los rincones del
mundo. Espero que la guía te ayude a conocerla mejor; quizá, como nos pasó a muchos, te rindas a su
encanto. Puede que algún día te veas trabajando en alguno de sus imponentes rascacielos skyscrapers,
o representando alguna obra de teatro en Broadway, o asistiendo a una reunión attending a meeting
en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, o investigando en alguna de sus prestigiosas
universidades; puede que hasta consigas el Premio Nóbel Nobel Prize de Medicina como Severo
Ochoa. Dicen que es la ciudad donde todo es posible everything is possible; sólo tienes que desearlo y
trabajar duro working hard. ¿En que consiste la vida sino el hacer que nuestros sueños se vuelvan
realidad making our dreams come true?
¡Disfrútala!
0. Introducción,,,,,,,,,,,,,,-11. Lower Manhattan,,,,,,,,,-22. Midtown Manhattan,,,,,,-93. Upper Manhattan,,,,,,,,-164. Harlem,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,-205. Some more help,,,,,,,,,,-21-
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
0. Introduction
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New York City (NYC) is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. It has a
significant impact on
global
commerce, finance,
media, culture, art,
fashion, research,
education
and
entertainment.
NYC is neither the capital of the USA
(it is Washington), nor is NYC the capital
of the state of New York (it is Albany);
however it’s considered the Capital of the
World for most people. Perhaps because
more than 800 different languages are
spoken in this melting pot crisol de
culturas. Located on a large natural
harbor puerto natural on the Atlantic
coast of the States, NYC consists of five
boroughs:
New York’s Five Boroughs
Borough of
Manhattan
The Bronx
Brooklyng
Queens
Staten Island
NYC City
State of NY
Population
(2009)
1,629,054
1,397,287
2,567,098
2,306,712
491,730
8,391,881
19,541,453
Area
(Km2 )
59
109
183
283
151
786
122,284
Our visit will focus on the island of
Manhattan (14x3 Km) flanked by Hudson
River and East River. From Southwest to
Northeast Manhattan is divided into four
areas: Lower, Midtown, Upper and Harlem. We’ll dedicate a chapter to each of them.
¿Sabes por qué a los neoyorquinos de fuera de Manhattan los llaman barbecues (BBQS)?
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
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1. Lower Manhattan
Manhattan se organiza en 12 avenidas Avenues paralelas que corren de N. (North o Upper) a S.
(South o Lower) y se numeran de E. (East) a O. (West). También hay 155 calles Streets
perpendiculares a las anteriores que se numeran del S. al N. La 5ª Avenida Fifth Av. la espina dorsal
de la isla; desde ella las calles comienzan su numeración hacia el E. (ej. 15E) o hacia el O. (ej. 213W).
Sólo una avenida atraviesa Manhattan diagonalmente, es un camino ancho Broadway, antiguamente
utilizado por los amerindios para comunicar lo que ellos llamaban en su idioma algonquino “Maniata”
(pequeña isla) con las tierras del norte.
El Lower llega hasta la 14 St y es la zona donde comenzó la historia de la ciudad cuando en la
primera mitad del s. XVII se establecieron aquí los holandeses una colonia llamada Nueva Ámsterdam.
Entre los siglos XVII y XVIII la rivalidad marítima entre holandeses e ingleses acabó con la victoria
de éstos últimos, que la rebautizaron como Nueva York , ya que el rey Carlos II de Inglaterra se la
donó a su hermano, el Duque de York. Hasta finales del s. XVIII fue escenario de importantes batallas
de la Guerra de la Independencia (el 4 de Julio de 1776 se declara la independencia Independence
Day) del Imperio Británico protagonizadas por George Washington que sería nombrado el primer
presidente 1st President de los EE.UU. en el balcón del Federal Hall. Nueva york fue la capital de los
EE.UU. desde 1785 al 1790. En 1797 la capital del estado se trasladó a Albany. En el s. XIX la
población de la New York tiene una rápida expansión, debido a la llegada masiva de inmigrantes de todo
el mundo atraídos por el dinamismo económico de la ciudad. En 1835 se convierte la ciudad más poblada
de los EE.UU. También fue un escenario clave en la Guerra de Secesión Civil War (1861-1865). En la
primera mitad del s. XX se convierte en un centro de envergadura internacional a nivel industrial,
comercial, de comunicaciones, deportivo y cultural con el alcalde La Guardia. Continúan las oleadas de
inmigrantes (entran unos 17 millones por Ellis Island). En 1950 llegó a ser la ciudad más grande del
mundo con 12 millones de habitantes. Como consecuencia sufre choques raciales que en los 60 y 70 la
convierten en una ciudad de alta criminalidad. A pesar de las graves crisis económicas como la de 1929
y la de 1975, la ciudad se recupera continuamente modificando completamente su skyline con la
construcción de multitud de rascacielos skyscrapers (sobre todo en los años 30) . En los 80 la bolsa de
Nueva York Wall Street renace y la criminalidad disminuye drásticamente en los 90 con el alcalde
Giuliani. A comienzos del siglo XXI (el 11
de Septiembre de 2001) se produjo el
ataque terrorista de las torres gemelas
Twin Towers del Word Trade Center don
de murieron casi 3000 personas. Hoy se
sigue trabajando en la Zona O Ground
Zero en la construcción de la Freedom
Tower y en la revitalización de todo el
Lower con la fuerza y el optimismo que
siempre caracterizo a Nueva York.
Las principales rutas a pie son:
•
•
•
•
•
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Financial District & WTC
Civic Centre & Brooklyn Bridge
Greenwich Village
Other areas in Lower
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
1.1. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
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Desde Grand Central Station tomamos la linea 4 hacia el Sur y nos bajamos en Bowling Green.
Bowling Green fue el primer parque que tuvo la ciudad, utilizado como campo de bolos desde 1733. En
frente está la US Coustom House, edificio de aduanas que hoy se ha convertido en el Museo Nacional
de los Indios Americanos Nacional Museum of American Indians. Las 4 esculturas de la entrada, que
representan los continentes de Asia, América, Europa y África, fueron creadas por Daniel Chester
French, que después diseñaría la enorme escultura del Lincoln Memorial en Washington DC. En la
entrada a Battery Park se puede ver una enorme esfera de bronce salvada de entre los escombros de
las Torres Gemelas. Este bonito parque fue en principio una fortaleza construida por los holandeses
para defenderse de los ataques ingleses. Llegamos hasta el Castle Clinton, al lado del embarcadero
donde sacaremos los tiques para
navegar hasta Liberty Island y Ellis
Island en el New York Harbor
The Statue of Liberty was
designed
by
French
sculptor
Bartholdi, who used his mother’s
face and his girlfriend’s arms as
models. It steel skeleton was
engineered by Eiffel. The monument
was erected in 1886. It was a
present from France in order to
demonstrate
its
support
for
American independence. Apart from
being a symbol of the city, the
colossal figure became a symbol of welcome to millions of immigrants. ‘Give
huddled masses yearning to breath free…’
me your tired, your poor, your
Ellis Island is near Liberty Island. Between 1892 and 1943, 17 million immigrants from all
continents arrived to The States. The main causes were: escaping from poverty, political and religious
persecution or wars in their native countries. When immigrants arrived to New York harbor, the
Statue of Liberty greeted them with her right hand holding a flaming torch, her 7 spiked crown that
jets out into the sky (one for each sea and continent) and a tablet in her left hand (upon which is
written the date the United States declared its independence, ‘July 4, 1776’. It represented power,
wealth and freedom. After seeing this they had to land in this small island. All Immigrants had to stay
in Ellis Island in the River Hudson before they were allowed to enter Manhattan and start a new life.
They had all arrived to America looking for a better life, for themselves and their families. But the
American dream would have to wait in this small place.
Firstly Ellis Island only had a main building where Immigration Committee’s staff controlled
the immigration in The United States. Later, due to the large waves of immigrants, far more space
was needed. Therefore, two artificial isles were built next to the original one. Both were built by
earth taken from the subway tunnels and the Grand Central Station excavation. Some of the new
buildings included: a hospital, a baggage station, an electric plant, kitchens, a bathhouse, dormitories,
etc. Service officers, interpreters, clerks, guards, cooks, maintenance staff, doctors and nurses
shaped the Immigration Committee’s staff. Sometime raised 800 people and dealt with 1500
immigrants in only one day. Today, the main building has been restored and converted into the
American Museum of Immigration in the memory of those people who helped build modern America.
However, to the immigrants it was ‘the isle of hope’ and ‘the isle of tears’.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
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Some emigrant couldn’t afford to pay for tickets because their incomes were very low. Big steamship companies brought
immigrants to New York Harbor in three types of accommodations: first class, second class and steerage (lowest fares). The
experience in steerage was like a nightmare. The conditions were so crowded, unsanitary and smelly. The voyage was very
long and most of them caught illnesses and diseases. Mortality increases 10% in ships. In spite of their miserable conditions,
emigrants passed the time playing cards, singing, dancing… However, most immigrants were in a state of shock: physically,
mentally and emotionally. They had one thing in common: the hope
for a new life in the New World: The American Dream.
They landed in Staten Island bringing the luggage that was their
only possessions and formed lines outside the main building. First
and second-class passengers were quickly and courteously
inspected on board the ship before being transferred to
Manhattan. Only steerage passengers were processed at Ellis
Island.
Later, they went into the most impressive room in the building:
the registry room, which was big and with a vaulted ceiling. There,
immigrants had to show legal papers, to pass lots of controls and
to answer a lot of questions: race, name, age, sex and nationality,
marital status, occupation, ability to read and write, physical and
mental health, whether they had ever been in prison, if they were
polygamists…
The majority didn’t understand English. Dozens of languages and
different dialects were spoken. Interpreters had to work hard.
The average number of languages spoken by an interpreter was
six. Everybody had to pass physically and psychological
examinations. Doctors looked at face, hair, neck and hands. Also
oculists looked for symptoms of trachoma, an eye disease that
caused blindness and even death (cause of deportation). People
who didn’t pass the test or weren’t healthy have to rest at
hospital in Ellis, some times for months until their problems
finished.
Immigrants felt worried and tired during the long wait. Only
children were very happy. They spent their time learning English,
playing and watching movies. Adults walked around Ellis Island and
looked at Manhattan anxiously.
Finally, most of them passed the tests, and when the immigrant
official said them: ‘Welcome to America’, they become very happy
because they were free to go. Their journey was complete. Ellis
for them was the isle of hope.
Only 2% didn’t get pass the test for several reasons: physical or
mental illness or criminal backgrounds. They were deported to
their original countries. Ellis for them was the isle of tiers.
In Manhattan they started a new life in the most powerful and
free country in the world. Some of them moved to different
States to settle there.
Entire families often couldn’t afford to leave their original
country. Thus, it was very common for the father moved alone to
America (to get a job and make some money) before his wife and
family got joined with him. that’s the case of this man
(photograph on the bottom). He had come to New York in 1912.
After a year working as electrician, he received bad news from
Spain: his wife had caught a bad illness and she was at death’s
door. He came back to Spain and when he got his small village, his
wife had just died. He looked after his son and later he got
married again. He never went back to The States but he felt
homesick from New York until his death in 1979.
Who was this man? I’ll give you a clue: If his first
wife hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have been born.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
1.2. Financial District & WTC
-5-
En este entramado de callejas comenzó la historia de esta ciudad hace 400 años. Ya he contado
que los holandeses fundaron aquí Nueva Ámsterdam. Para los norteamericanos este distrito es como
para nosotros los el centro de cualquiera de nuestras antiguas ciudades europeas (claro que con
bastante menos antigüedad). George Washington, el primer presidente de los EE.UU., rezó en las
iglesias de este distrito (St. Paul’s Chapel) y comió en sus tabernas (Fraunces Tavern). Aunque más que
por su historia, este barrio es conocido, desde mediados del s XIX, como el centro financiero y
comercial más poderoso del planeta. In other words: ‘The symbol of money’
Wall Street gets its name from a wooden wall built there by the Dutch in 1653 as protection against
attacks by English colonies to the north. The name become famous after 1865 when the New York
Stock Exchange La Bolsa de NY established its permanent home at the intersection of Wall and Broad
Streets. At that intersection, on September 16, 1920, a horse-drawn cart exploded in the middle of a
crowd. The blast killed 40 people and wounded hundreds more; it was thought to be the act of
anarchists. A battalion of sweepers and repairmen worked through the night, so the next day, Wall
Street workers, many with bandages, returned to business as usual.
The statue of George Washington, erected on the spot where he was appointed as the 1st U.S.
president in 1789, weathered the bombing without a scratch and still presides over the hub of
American capitalism. The building behind the statue is Federal Hall, a magnificent Greek Revival
edi fice built in 1842. It is an important historical site and has had many uses over the years: City Hall,
U.S. Government (1789-90), Custom House and Federal Reserve Bank.
Trinity Church was built at the head of Wall Street in 1697 as a colonial outpost of the English
Anglican Church. When Trinity's first tower was erected, it was the tallest structure in Manhattan. It
was burned down in 1776, in a fire most likely started by American rebels during the British occupation
of New York City in the Revolutionary War. It was rebuilt in English Gothic style. The front door is in
Broadway Av. Robert Fulton (1785-1815), the American engineer who invented the steamboat and
designed the Nautilus which was the first practical submarine submarino in history, barco de vapor is
buried in its cemetery.
Stock Exchange building has 6 monumental Corinthian columns almost always covered by a huge U.S.
flag. The NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) is the largest stock market in the world and the first
number of signatory companies. Its share volume was exceeded by that of NASDAQ (National
Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation la bolsa de valores electrónica más grande de
los EE.UU.) which has its headquarters in Times Square.
There are lost of impressive skyscrapers in this area. My favourite is the formally
named The Bank of Manhattan Trust Building (today Trump Building). It contains 70
floors and was built in only 11 months in 1930. It was part of a race to be the tallest
building in the world. It surpassed the nearby Woolworth, built in 1913 and which had
been the tallest until 1930. But soon, it was surpassed by the Chrysler in the same year
which was also surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. Other important sky
skyscrapers in this zone are: Downtown or old Morgan Bank with 42 stories (now luxury condos). The
Bank of New York (1st bank on Wall Street) One Liberty Plaza is a black 54 floor skyscraper built in
1973 located in the beautiful demolished Singer Building, next to the Ground Zero. Before visiting it,
you can’t miss The Charging Bull located in Bowling Green in Broadway Av. It’s a big bronze sculpture,
symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. It’s a Wall Street icon.
The Word Trade Centre (WTC) Centro Mundial de Comercio was sponsored by the Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey. There stood the Twin Towers from 1972 until the September 11, 2001,
both disappeared after the attacks by the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden.
About 3000 innocent people died horrifically in this attack. It was an architectural feat, very windresistant, smart open offices, equipped with innovative safety systems, with almost half a Kilometre
high and 110 stories each; with more than 50 thousand workers and 100 thousand visitors daily. In
spite of the tragedy, New Yorkers have recovered powerfully as they’ve always done: They returned to
their usual work the day after the Wall Street bombing in 1920, they built the highest skyscrapers
after the 1929 recession, and after September 11th tragedy Lower regained its glory and they’re
currently finishing a New WTC with a new landmark: Freedom Tower.
¿Sabes cómo se titula una película muy relacionada con esta zona y en la que Michael
Douglas ganó un Oscar al mejor actor principal?
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
1.3. Civic Centre & Brooklyn Bridge
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Después de haber visto la parte del WTC a orillas del Hudson, con el Winter Garden de cara al
pequeño puerto deportivo, visitamos St. Paul’s Chapel, construida en 1766 y que conserva el asiento
usado por G. Washington el 30 de Abril de 1789, día en que tomó posesión de su cargo como primer
presidente de los EE.UU. Esta iglesia, enfrente de la Zona 0 sirvió de refugio a todos los que
trabajaron en la dura labor de desescombro del atentado a las Torres Gemelas. Cruzando Fulton
Street llegamos a otro importante conjunto de edificios gubernamentales y de justicia (Civic Centre)
con salida peatonal al impresionante Puente de Brooklyn (Brookyn Bridge).
Woolworth Building had been the tallest structure in the world for 17 years. It was built in 1913 above
Broadway Av. and City Hall Park. It was created by F. W. Woolworth, the founder of the five-anddime chain cadena de tiendas de 5 y 10 centavos (algo como nuestras “todo a 100”). Called ‘the
Cathedral of Commerce’, it has Gothic pointed arches and a pinnacle crown. The more I look at its 60
stories the more I like its Gothic facade.
City Hall Ayuntamiento is a small classical building in the middle of the Park. It was built in 1811 and it
was saved of demolition in one of the city’s earliest historic preservation
campaigns; the elegant building is still the centre of government, where New
York City’s Mayor and city council conduct their daily business as they have
done for two centuries. Michael R. Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New
York City since 2002, after the former R. Giuliani. The budget of NYC is 50
billion dollars/year, the highest in the U.S., even higher than counties like
Switzerland or Israel. The city employs 250,000 people and dedicates about 15
billon dollars to education of 1.1 million children.
Old Courthouse antiguo Palacio de Justicia is another old building behind City Hall in Chamber Street.
It’s more commonly known as the Tweed Courthouse, built in the American Victorian style in 1872 with
funds obtained by the infamous William M. ‘Boss’ Tweed who was the king of kickbacks. This corrupt
man wore a large diamond in his shirtfront. He died in prison. Nowadays the building has been
refurbished for the Department of Education and City Hall Academy as a school offering programs for
students and teachers.
Municipal Building rises 183 m. above the Civic Centre. It’s crowned by a golden statue called ‘Civic
Fame’. It was also the first building in NYC to be built with a subway station inside.
New York County State Supreme Courthouse Palacio de Justicia del Condado de Nueva York and U.S.
Federal Courthouse Palacio Federal de Justicia de los EE.UU. are two emblematic buildings located in
Foley Square. The first one, with its 10 pillars of justice and its steps, has been the stage of countless
films. From the Civic Centre you can easily get to:
Brooklyn Bridge opened in May 1883. It was designed by the German-born engineer J. Augustus
Roebling; his son Washington Roebling had to finish the work after his father who died in an accident
along with other 20 workers; also injured, the younger Roebling became invalid and, with his wife’s help,
supervised the project from his bedside window across the river in Brooklyn. It took 14 years to
complete and cost $16 million (3 times the original estimate). Its cables were spun from steel (a
material still new in the mid-nineteenth century). During 19th century New Yorkers crossed the bridge
on horse-drawn carts, cable cars and electric trains. In 1953, the deck was strengthened to bear the
weight of increased motor traffic. The powerful cables and stone arches frame fascinating views of
the city.
South Street Seaport was the heart of the Port of NYC for most of the 19th century. The East River
waterfront was full of tall-masted sailing ships. It was a crowded, rowdy neighbourhood of maritime
shops, boarding houses, saloons and hotels. Since the 1890s larger vessels were moving to new docks
and deeper water on the Hudson River. Today, a small fleet of historic ships preserves a sense of the
old port. The Peking is one of these historic ships. You can’t miss the atmosphere at the Pier 17 where
I recommend for have a good dinner and taking nocturnal photos with the Brooklyn Bridge background.
South Street Ferry Terminal: Before and even after the bridges were built, dozens of ferry lines
connected Manhattan and other NY boroughs. Except for the Staten Island Ferry, all lines stopped
running after the World War II. Nowadays, the service is free and 24 hours a day. Many Wall Street
office workers enjoy a refreshing boat ride to go work and go back. You must have your camera ready
to take wonderful photos of night-time Manhattan when we come back from Staten Island.
Es escena común en la película de 1988 “Working Girl” protagonizada por Melanie Griffith y
Harrison Ford. ¿Sabrías cuál es el título de esta película en español?
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
1.4. Greenwich Village
Jefferson Market
-7-
Desde la parada de metro 4th
Street (blue&orange lines) comenzamos
la visita a este barrio cultural y
bohemio. The Village, como lo conoce
todo el mundo, debe su nombre a los
primeros colonos ingleses que aquí se
establecieron a finales del s. XVII. Este
barrio pierde la cuadrícula de NY, por lo
que el plano de la figura nos ayudará a
recorrerlo a pie. Durante el s XIX fue
un barrio residencial de la alta sociedad,
que, poco a poco se fue mudando a la
5Th Av. Entonces se empezaron a llegar
intelectuales, de forma que a finales del
s XIX y principios del s. XX se convirtió
en un barrio bohemio. Escritores,
NY University
revolucionarios y creadores de todo tipo
como: T.S. Eliot (Premio Nobel de Literatura),
John Reed (periodista y dirigente obrero y fundador del Partido Laborista ), E. O’Naial (Premio Nobel de Literatura, interpretado por
Jack Nicholson en la película “Los RoJos” sobre la vida de J. Reed con cuya mujer mantuvo un romance), Washington Irving que
vivió en el 11 Commerce St. (el autor de “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” ambientada en Tarrytown; fue embajador en España entre
1842-1846 y escribió también “Cuentos de la Alambra”, “Historia de la Conquista de Granada” y “Biografía de Colón”)... Todos ellos
hicieron famosas las calles y tabernas de este barrio y lo vincularon a la cultura literaria
Norteamericana. En 1969 nació en la Christopher St. El Movimiento de Liberación Gay. La plaza
principal del Village, Washington Square, ha sido un lugar de protestas y manifestaciones de los más
radicales. Así, enn 1917 un grupo del Club Liberal proclamó desde el Memorial Arch la “República
Independiente del Village” con el fin de hacer de esta zona un lugar para el socialismo, la poesía, la
conversación y el sexo.
Al sur de Washington Square se encuentran los edificios de la mayor
universidad privada de los EE.UU., la NY University. En la Facultad de Medicina
de esta prestigiosa universidad trabajó desde 1941 hasta 1974 el bioquímico
asturiano Severo Ochoa; fue el Director del Departamento de Farmacología
(1946-54) y de Bioquímica (1954-74) y obtuvo el Premio Nobel de Medicina en
1959 por sus trabajos sobre la síntesis del ADN. El matrimonio Ochoa fue muy
feliz en NY, de forma que adquirieron la doble nacionalidad española y
estadounidense desde 1959. Efectivamente, de NY procede todo trabajo
científico. En 1974 se trasladó como investigador distinguido al Instituto Roche
de Biología Molecular en New Jersey. Murió en 1993 y está enterrado en su pueblo natal del Luarca
(Asturias). Sin embargo, antes de su muerte, tuve la suerte de saludarle en persona. El 10 de marzo de
1988 llegó a Valladolid invitado por D. José Mª Recio Pascual, mi director de tesis de licenciatura, con
motivo de ser nombrado Doctor Honoris Causa por la Universidad de Valladolid al día siguiente. Entró
en el laboratorio donde estábamos trabajando, era muy alto, jamás olvidaré su mirada inteligente, su
saludo firme, sus buenos consejos y sobre todo su gran humildad a pesar de ser un Premio Nobel.
El Doctor Ochoa hablaba así de NY: “Nueva York es la ciudad más estimulante del mundo porque lo ofrece todo,
absolutamente todo, hasta lo que se puede soñar; y no solo para el científico, sino para el intelectual, Nueva York es el centro del
mundo también, en cuanto a exhibiciones de arte, de buen teatro, ópera, música sinfónica y de cámara,…” “Las condiciones que tengo
en Nueva York no las tendría en ninguna parte”.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
1.5. Other areas in Lower
-8-
No podemos abandonar el Lower sin conocer otras de sus interesantes zonas. Aquí, como en el
Village, no hay rascacielos o edificios demasiado especiales, sin embargo, pasear por ellas te ayudará a
comprender mejor el multiculturalismo de NY. Las revisaremos por orden de interés:
Chinatown: Easily accessible from the Civic
Center through Columbus Park (3 green)
arriving at Chatham Square (3 orange) to the
Manhattan Bridge’s Gate in Confucius Plaza (1
orange) , where there is a Buddhist Temple (1
blue). Almost half a million Chinese people
live in this district which has 150
restaurants, 300 cloth factories, 12 Buddhist
temples, 11 newspapers in Chinese, banks,
theater companies, doctors and lawyers
Chinese people working from morning to night
in tiny spaces. The only holiday in the year is
the Chinese New Year, celebrated on the
first day of full moon after January 19th.
Chinatown has the lowest prices, the lowest
crime rate and the lowest unemployment rate
in NY. You'll see it's almost like being in
Hong Kong. Its main streets are Canal Street, Grand Street and Mott Street.
Little Italy: has been almost absorbed by Chinatown, but still retains the memory of the mafia in
the streets. In one of its restaurants, the capo Joe Gallo was murdered in 1972. Grand Street and
Mulberry Street are the most famous streets. An espresso with a cake cost as much as a big meal at
the nearby Chinatown. Italians celebrate the Feast of San Genaro in September in this zone.
TriBeCa: Acronym for Triangle Below Canal Street. It’s an expensive neighborhood,
full of smart people, most of them from Wall Street. The restaurants, dedicated to
the ‘nouvelle cuisine’ are the most expensive in NY. At 375 Greenwich St. corner
Franklin St. is TriBeCa Film Center, where Robert de Niro,
Steven Spielerg and
Quincy Jones have their offices; TriBeCa Grill is a restaurant owned by Robert de
NiroThe. J F. Kenedy Jr lived in this neighborhood until his death and Naomi Campbell
had a house in this zone.
Soho: Acronym for So uth Ho udson St. Canal St. marks the border to the South,
Lafayette St. to the East and Avenue of Americas (Six Av.) to the West. Greene St. is the
center of the neighborhood with the most emblematic buildings of iron 19 th century, like
Haughwout Building (corner of Broome St./Broadway). You can’t miss Prada Store at 575
Broadway, where the Guggenheim once stood . Here there are many lofts, where artists
installed their studios. Today there are luxury homes (more than $ 5000 monthly rent)
Lower East Side: It was always a marginal neighborhood. Poor Jews came from Ellis Island in the
19th century. Puerto Ricans, blacks, Chinese.... came in the 20th century. Their inhabitants call it
‘Loisaida’ in spanglish. Today it is a nightlife district. You can also eat the best 'deli' around
Manhattan in the Jewish restaurants here.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
-9-
2. Midtown Manhattan
El centro de Manhattan Midtown es el corazón de la ciudad de NY. Es casi un perfecto tablero de
ajedrez: Abarca todas las áreas entre las calles 14 St y la 59 St cruzadas perpendicularmente por
las Avenues, que desde el este E (East River) al oeste W (Hudson River) se llaman: Franklin Delano
Roosevelt Drive, First Av, Second Av, Third Av, Lexinton Av, Park Av (la única con dos sentidos),
Madison Av, Fifth Av (la espina dorsal de Manhattan, pasa por el extremo este de Central Park ), Sixth
Av, Seventh Av, Eighth Av, Ninth Av, Tenth Av, Eleventh Av, Twelfth Av y Broadway que cruza
diagonalmente 4 avenidas en el Midtown (de la 4ª a la 8ª).
En esta amplia zona de 12 Km2 están los rascacielos más característicos de NY: la Plancha, el
Chysler, el Empire (el más alto de NY) State, el Rockefeler Center, la Trup Tower… Los mejores
hoteles: el Plaza, el Waldorf Astoria… Tres de las 4 más importantes cadenas de TV de los
EE.UU. Grandes almacenes como los Macy’s o los Bloomingdale’s. También encontrarás en esta zona
el cuartel general de la ONU, St. Patrick’s Cathedral , el Madison Square Garden (el estadio más
famoso de NY) ,la Biblioteca Pública de NY, el MOMA (el museo de arte moderno más importante del
mundo), el portaviones Intrepid y un avión Concorde, las grandes estaciones de ferrocarril:
Pensilvania Station y la Grand Central Station (tu punto de entrada y salida de Manhattan al venir de
o volver a Tarrytown). Aparte de las elegantes zonas comerciales de la Quinta Avenida, donde están
instaladas las grandes firmas, lo que sin duda caracteriza, no solo al Midtown, sino a todo NY es la
intersección de Broadway con la Séptima Avenida: Times Square; hay quien lo considera el centro del
mundo, otros dicen que es el cielo y el infierno juntos. Yo no tengo suficientes palabras para
describírtelo, por eso prefiero que lo compruebes tu mismo Te diría que es como como Picadilly Circus
de Londres o la Puerta el Sol de Madrid, pero “a lo grande”. Por si fuera poco, en este corazón del
mundo se encuentra también el Theater District, el epicentro del teatro mundial.
El Midtown, más que visitarse se disfruta. Aquí podrás ver un musical, subir de día y de noche a lo
alto de gigantescos rascacielos, ver tiendas exclusivas, museos sorprendentes, podrás tomar un
crucero
alrededor
de
todo
Manhattan, ver como se ruedan
películas o programas de televisión
en la calle, andar entre delegados
internacionales de las Naciones
Unidas o simplemente entre millones
de turistas de todo el mundo. Por su
gran extensión, haremos una visita
por sectores acorde con su
expansión en el S XIX; es decir, de
sur a norte:
•
•
•
•
From
From
From
From
14th St to 23rd St
23rd St to 34th St
34th St to 47th St
47th St to 59th St
Do you know why I jumped Fourth
Avenue in the description at the
beginning of this chapter?
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
2.1. From 14th Street to 23 rd Street
- 10 -
Union Square: It was known for its workers’ rallies and mass political protests.
But its name actually derives from its location at the union of Broadway and
Fourth Av. The equestrian statue of G. Washington was erected in 1856, in the
middle of 14th Street and Fourth Av. that joins Bowery (in South) to Park Av.
(goes to North to Harlem). During late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was an
elegant area, where shops and theatres were set up. Macy’s original
department store and Tiffany’s jewellery store were here before they both
moved to uptown. The theatre district was here too. Then it became the
meeting place of trade unions and some politicians (statues of Washington,
Lincoln and Gandhi). In late 1986 it began to decline and the square was filled
with drug dealers and criminals. Nowadays, it is back in vogue because an
organic food market is set up here on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and
Saturdays.
Flatiron Building La Plancha: Like the prow of a great ship, it was the first
skyscraper in NY (20 stories tall like Duque de Lerma in Valladolid), and was
built in 1903 on a triangular plot of land on 23rd Street between Fifth Av and
Broadway. It was officially called the Fuller Building, but soon become
identified by its flatiron shape. On the right,
it was the Fifth Avenue Hotel (demolished in
1908 and replace by an office building), the
fist one in The States with elevators, at that
time called ‘vertical railway cars’. Opened in
1858, the hotel had an elegant dining room
where powerful politicians like where Theodore
Roosevelt (26th President 1901-9) held court.
Gramercy Park: Between East 20 and 21 Streets. It was built in 1831 with
Victorian buildings (which are imitations of residences from London). Today is
the oldest private park in NY. Pete’s Tavern (129 E 18th Street) is nearby. It
opened its doors in 1864 and it’s the longest continuously operating bar and
restaurant in NY. It even stayed open during Prohibition, disguised as a flower
shop. The famous writer O. Henry wrote the classic ‘Gift of The Magi’ here at
his favorite booth at the front doors, in 1902.
Madison Square Park: It bears no evidence of its historic connection either
to the Statue of Liberty or Madison Square Garden (now on West 34th Street).
Named after President James Madison in 1987, the park was spruced up with
many different statues of famous Americans. Today it is a pleasant urban oasis
and a popular lunchtime spot for local
office workers. But in the past it was
the fist Madison Square Garden.
Between 1876 and 1886 the Statue of
Liberty’s hand and torch was placed
there in order to raise funds needed
to build the pedestal. Arch of
Freedom was built in 1919 to welcome
soldiers home from World War I.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 11 -
2.2. From 23rd Street to 34th Street
Metropolitan
Life Tower: A landmark
skyscraper located at Madison Square. Built in
1909, the tower was modelled after the Campanile
in Venice. It served as the world headquarters of
the company until 2005. It was the world's tallest
building for three years until 1913 when it was
surpassed by the Woolworth Building.
N.Y. Life Insurance Building:
Also located at Madison Square is the
headquarters
of
the
NY
Life
Insurance Company. Designed in 1926
and inspired in Salisbury Cathedral.
The NY Life Insurance Company still
maintains its headquarters here
Penn Station: This monumental, two-block long classical temple was built in 1910, a time when railroad stations become as
expansive as their operations throughout the nation. To build its first station in NYC, the Pennsylvania Railroad cut a tunnel
under the Hudson River in 1904, connecting the island of Manhattan to the rest of the country. Like Grand Central, the
city’s other great train station in
construction at this time, Pennsylvania Station was an
engineering and architectural
marvel. But the station was demolished in 1963 as a
victim to changing times and
new property values: automobiles outpaced train
service.
To
those
who
remember the original Penn Station, the
modern building is a sorry
reminder of the loss of magnificent
space. Although the station still
operates beneath the ground, the
monumental building and its vast waiting
room are only a memory. Their loss led to
a public outcry and the creation of the city’s
fist landmark protection law in 1965.
Madison Square Garden:
With maximum capacity of 19,522
people, it is built upon the remnants of Penn Station. Now in its fourth
location designed by Charles Luckman, this entertainment complex also
includes a theatre for 5,600 people, with two restaurants. You can get
tickets
for
sporting
events,
concerts
or
plays
in
http://www.thegarden.com
Empire State Building:
It’s a 102-story (443.2 m tall) landmark Art Deco skyscraper at the intersection of Fifth
Avenue and W 34th Street. Its name is derived from the nickname for NY: ‘The Empire State’. It stood as the world’s
tallest building for more than 40 years, from its completion in 1931 until the construction of the WTC’s North Tower
was completed in 1972. Following 11th September in 2001, it became the tallest building in NYC again. It’s currently the
3rd tallest skyscraper in America (after Willis Tower and Trump Tower both in Chicago), and the 15th tallest in the
world. It’s one of the Seven Wonders of Modern World. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and
in 2007, it was ranked number one on the List of America’s favourites Architecture. The building is owned and managed
by W&H Properties. It’s currently undergoing a $550 million renovation, with $120 million used in an effort to
transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure. The project involved 3,400 workers,
mostly immigrants from Europe, along with hundreds of Mohawk iron workers, many from a reserve near Montreal. It
has 6,500 windows and 73 elevators. Approximately 21 thousand employees work in it each day. It’s heated by lowpressure. The lobby is 3-stories high and features an aluminium relief of the skyscraper. The
exterior was built using Indiana limestone panels. It cost $41 billion to build. In 1964,
floodlights were added to illuminate the top of the building, in colours chosen to match
seasonal and other events, such as St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas or Independence Day (July
4th); for example, on July 12th, 2010, the floodlights were red, yellow and red, to celebrate
Spain’s victory at the FIFA Word Cup. The building’s distinctive Art Deco spire was originally
designed to be a mooring mast and depot for blimps. The 102nd floor was originally a landing
platform with a blimp gangplank. A large broadcast tower was added to the top of the spire in
1953. In 1945 a plane crashed between the 79th and 80th floors. Over the years, more than 30
people have committed suicide from the top of the building. Perhaps the most famous popular culture
representation of the building is in 1933 film King Kong. It has one of the most popular observatories in the world. The
102nd floor observation deck offers impressive 360º views of the city that you will be able to enjoy at night time.
Macy’s:
Rowland Hussey Macy had opened the store in 1858 on Union Square, but he died before its
full glory in 1905, when it was moved to the corner of Broadway, Sixth Av and 34th Street. Today, the
company’s red star logo covers the corner building. R.H. Macy, the founder, former whaler, had a red
star tattooed on his hand. The rise of Bloomingdale’s on the Upper East Side has attracted the city’s
wealthier clientele. But Macy’s, still the best-known name in NY department stores. If I were you, I’d
have a look inside to find jeans and shirts at a good price.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
2.3. From 34th Street to 47th Street
- 12 -
NY Public Library & Bryant Park:
It was built as a classical temple of books on
a reservoir of 20 millions gallons of clean
drinking water in 1911. The project was
conceived in the late 19th century, at time
when municipal libraries were a civic luxury.
Private donors pooled their resources in the
1980s and 1990s to restore the building’s
interior to its original splendour. Its 6
million books are housed outside of the
building in multiple layers of stacks
extending for miles under the adjacent
Bryant Park; at where you can have a lunch
while you read a book among yuppies,
students, officers…
In the movie ‘The day after tomorrow’
one of the main characters (actor Jake
Gyllenhaal) has to protect inside the New
York Public Library. Why?
Grand Central Terminal:
It’ll be your gateway to between Manhattan and Tarrytown.
It’s situated between 42 nd and 46th Streets in the middle of Park Avenue. When the first
Grand Central Depot was built in 1871, the area was at the northern outskirts of the city, so
critics complained that it was ‘neither grand nor central’. You can see the former building in
the photo on the left. The new Grand Central Station was completed in 1913 as the crowning
glory of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central Railroad. C. Vanderbilt was an entrepreneur who made his
fortune in shipping and railroads and is the founder of the renowned Vanderbilt family. He was born in
Staten Island in a family of modest means. His ancestors, before immigrating to NY, were farmers in the
village of ‘Bilt’ (Holland); this name was added to the Dutch ‘van der’ (of the). As a young boy, Cornelius
worked on ferries in NYC, quitting school at the age of 11. By the age of 16, he was operating his own
business, ferrying freight and passengers. He and his wife had 13 children. In the early 1860s, Vanderbilt
started withdrawing capital from steamships and investing in railroads. He owned the New York Central and
Harlem railroads. By 1873, he had connected Chicago to New York City. At the time of his death, in 1877, C.
Vanderbilt's fortune was estimated at more than $100,000,000.
Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central is the largest train station in the world by
number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with
41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms
and in rail yards exceeds 100. The ter minal covers an area of 19 hectares. It serves commuters
travelling on the Metro-North Railroad to Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties in New York
State, and Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut. It is used by a half million people daily. The nicest
area is the lobby of 1400 m long and 600 m wide with a barrel vault in which the constellations are painted.
MetLife Building:
Formerly known as the Panam Building it is one of the most notable Midtown
Chrysler Building:
Chrysler Building: Completed in 1930, the Chrysler Building was once the tallest building in
skyscrapers due to its elongated octagonal shape. The building is directly attached to Grand Central
Terminal, which provides an easy commute to those who work in it. Until the 1970s, the roof was used as
a helipad, but was closed due to a helicopter accident which resulted in five deaths. Today, the MetLife
Building takes its place as one of the most popular NYC skyline landmarks.
the world - until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building a year later. With 1319 m high, it is
without a doubt one of the most famous landmarks in the city. The building boasts 77 floors, 32
elevators. It is a good example of Art Deco architectural style. The distinctive ornate nature of
the tower is based on the hubcaps then used in Chrysler cars. In each corner of floor 61 there is a
gargoyle in the shape of an eagle. At the corners of the floor 31 there are replicas of the caps on
the radiators of Chrysler cars. Originally built by the Chrysler Corporation, the building is
presently co-owned by TMW Real Estate (75%) and Tishman Speyer Properties (25%). In my
opinion is nicer than the Empire State. We can visit the lobby which is also elegant.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 13 -
United Nations Headquarters:
La Sede Principal de la ONU es un complejo de edificios
situados de la 1ª Aenida hacia el East River y entre las calles 42 y 48. Se considera un territorio
internacional aunque esté dentro de NYC. Sus lenguas oficiales son 6: árabe, chino, español,
francés, inglés y ruso. El complejo fue construido en 1950 en los terrenos cedidos por la familia
Rockefeller. El complejo comprende varios edificios: la más alta y característica es una torre
acristalada en forma de caja de cerillas: la Torre de la Secretaría The Secretariat Tower, la
cúpula de la Asamblea General, la librería Hammarskjöd, así como el centro de Conferencias y
Visitantes que se sitúa entre el edificio de la Asamblea General y el rascacielos de la Secretaría.
(Llegaremos andando desde la Grand Central; el horario de visitas guiadas (en español) de 9:15 a
16:45 los días laborables). Dentro de la valla perimetral del complejo están todas las banderas
de los 192 estados miembros ordenadas alfabéticamente por su nombre en inglés. La ONU es una
organización de estados soberanos que se afilian voluntariamente para colaborar en la paz mundial, promover la amistad entre
todas las naciones y apoyar el progreso económico y social. Se crea el 24 de octubre de 1945, al término de la 2ª Guerra
Mundial con 51 países. El término “Naciones Unidas” fue acuñado por el Presidente de los EE.UU. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Hoy en día son estados miembros prácticamente todos los países del mundo. En realidad no se trata de un parlamento de
naciones ya que no es una entidad por encima de los estados, ni un gobierno de gobiernos. No cuenta con ejército propio y no
recauda impuestos. La ONU está sujeta a la voluntad política de sus miembros para la aplicación de las decisiones y depende
de sus aportaciones para la ejecución de sus actividades. Abarca 6 órganos principales:
1. Asamblea General
2. Consejo de Seguridad
3. Consejo Económico y Social
4. Consejo de Administración Fiduciaria
5. Corte Internacional de Justicia
6. Secretaría
También se encuentran dentro del
Sistema de las Naciones Unidas varios
programas,
fondos
y
agencias
especializadas. Para mantener las
actividades de este Sistema se cuenta
con un presupuesto que se establece
cada dos años, aprobado por la Asamblea
General. La figura principal de la ONU
es el Secretario General. El actual es
Ban Ki-moon de Corea del Sur, que
asumió el puesto el 1 de enero de 2007,
reemplazando a Kofi Annan de Ganha.
La sede europea, y segunda sede
mundial, se encuentra en Ginebra
(Suiza).
Las Naciones Unidas desempeñan un papel central en varios asuntos de interés general tales como:
EE.UU.
PRINCIPALES CONTRIBUYENTES
JAPÓN
ALEMANIA
R. UNIDO
FRANCIA
•
•
•
•
ITALIA
CANADÁ
ESPAÑA
CHINA
MEXICO
COREA S.
P. BAJOS
AUSTRALIA
BRASIL
SUIZA
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Reducir las tensiones internacionales
Prevenir conflictos
Poner fin a las hostilidades que ya se hayan producido
Legislar sobre el medio ambiente, el espacio ultraterrestre y los fondos
marinos
Erradicar enfermedades
Incrementar la producción de alimentos
Atender y proteger a los refugiados
Luchar contra el analfabetismo
Reaccionar rápidamente en situaciones de desastres naturales
Establecer normas mundiales en materia de derechos humanos
Proteger y promover los derechos de todas las personas
Por esta labor y los grandes logros de la Organización y sus agencias especializadas, así como diversos personajes
relacionados con la ONU, se les ha reconocido con el Premio Nobel de la Paz.
‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…’ United Nations General Assembly
adopted 'UDHR’ in 1948 after Second World War. What is the meaning of this acronym?
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 14 -
Times Square and the Theatre District: You
can reach the area by subway (1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q,
R, W to 42nd St. Times Square stop) or walking
from Grand Central. The area called ‘Times
Square’ covers the space between Broadway
and 7th Av. and 42nd and 46th Streets. It
never sleeps and it’s the heart of NYC and the
centre of the world for many people. It was
originated from the fact that the prestigious
newspaper ‘New York Times’ founded its headquarters here. There are one fifth of
the hotels in the city are standing close to this location. Times Square is also the centre of the
Theatre District where hosts the famous Broadway Theatres. Here, in the heart of Manhattan, you
will find many of the most popular attractions in NYC, including ABC's Times Square Studios, where
TV breaking news: ‘Good Morning America’ is filmed and the famous NASDAQ sign. A popular tourist
attraction for over 100 years, Times Square NYC is always packed with people. Because of the thick
crowds, it's easy to get lost or separated from your group. That's why we recommend studying our
map of Times Square, below.
V-J (Victory over Japan) Day
in Times Square, a photograph
by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was
published in Life in 1945.
The atmosphere in the area
has been always charged with
vice and corruption especially
since the Great Depression
era of the 1930's. But things
really started to decline from the 1960's up until the 1980's. It was in the 80's that thing started to turn around for the
better. A commercial building boom was underway in the area which set the stage for a concerted 'clean up' effort
spearheaded a few years later by then mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Since that point Times Square has become much more tourist
friendly, safer and cleaner. Sometimes known as the "Crossroads of the World," it has become a focal point for tourists
from all over the world and is renowned for its spectacular digital advertisements that line the main corridors along
Broadway and Seventh Avenue. The former New York Times headquarters, now known as One Times Square, at 42nd St. and
Broadway, is the staging area for the annual New Year's Eve ball drop. It is a tradition that began in 1908 and is visited
every year by hundreds of thousands of spectators. You can enjoy ‘Madame Tussauds Wax Museum’ or ‘Hard Rock Café’ in
the area.
Vas a estar en NYC el 4 de Julio y es muy probable que haya grandes celebraciones en TS.
Aquí tienes la Web oficial para consultarlo: http://www.timessquarenyc.org En caso de
querer enterarte y/o reservar alguna entrada para cualquier teatro de Broadway, este es el
mejor enlace: http://ppc.broadway.com
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 15 -
2.4. From 47th Street to 59 th Street
The Intrepid & Circle Line:
Desde la parada de metro “50 St” de la línea 1 ó 9 en
la Eighth Av. podemos caminar hacia el West por la 50th Street hasta el Hudson River por
lo que se llama Hell’s Kitchen; que fue una de las zonas más deprimidas y violentas de
Manhattan, así como la más poblada hasta finales del XIX; fue un lugar dejado de la mano
de Dios, con piaras de cerdos por las calles donde llegaban los emigrantes más poblres
(irlandeses, griegos, italianos e hispanos). Salimos justo a la B Passenger Ship Terminal y
recorremos la Tuelfth Av. hacia el South. Encontraremos The Intrepid en el muelle 86 (un
portaaviones que ha participado en batallas navales y aereas tanto en el sur del Pacífico,
en la 2ª Guerra Mundial y más tarde en Vietnam) que actualmente es un museo flotante de
historia y tecnología; también puedes ver un submarino y un avión Concorde (avión supersónico que dejo de prestar servicio
en noviembre de 2003). El museo está abierto de miércoles a domingo de 10 a 16 horas. En el muelle 83, a la altura de la 42nd
St llegamos a la Circle Line Terminal, donde lo más recomendable es tomar un crucero semicircular de 2 horas de duración
por $21 que te permitirá pasar por los puentes más importantes: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queens bridges.
Waldorf -Astoria Hotel:
It’s a known worldwide, especially for its art exhibitions. It’s
an Art Deco skyscraper of 47 floors (191 meters). It’s located on Park Avenue - 50th Street.
Plaza Hotel:
When it opened in 1907, it became the best hotel in NY. It hired the
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel’s architect: Henry Hardenbergh,
masterpiece. It’s like a giant château in front of Central Park.
who
made
the
Plaza
his
Rockefeller Centre:
This vast undertaking in the
heart of Midtown covers as much ground as 13 Chrysler
Buildings and it provides as much office space as 2
Empire State Buildings. It was advanced by two of the
most powerful businessmen in the country in the 1920s,
John D. Rpckefeller Jr., who had inherited his father's
Standard Oil fortune, and Owen Young, the chairman of
General Electric. The project was conceived as a grand
home for a new metropolitan opera house, but its
immense commercial nature overwhelmed the opera's backers and they pulled out, giving GE
and its radio networks, RCA and NBC, the starring roles. Now, Midtown's showcase,
Rockefeller Centre includes 19 buildings between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 41st and 48th
Streets: office towers, theatres, TV studios, and restaurants, all connected to an
underground shopping concourse and famous plaza. An observation deck offering spectacular
views from the 70th floor; it is called the Top on the Rock, from where you will see a
wonderful Manhattan panoramic view. I hope you enjoy it.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral:
This grand cathedral was begun in 1858, on Fifth Av, and 50th
Street. At that time, the Irish were the largest immigrant group in NYC. A generation would pass
before it was completed. The work was interrupted by Civil War and didn't resume until 1888.
Now, St. Patrick’s is surrounded of glass-walled skyscrapers and luxury apartments. The cathedral
has hosted many of the city's most solemn and festive occasions, from the funeral of Robert F.
Kennedy in 1968 to the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Av.
Antes de terminar la visita al Midtown no nos perderemos: El MOMA (El mejor Museo de Arte Moderno del mundo en 11W,
53 St.) la Trump Tower (domicilio habitual del archi millonario Donal Trump), El Diamod District (donde los judios venden
joyas como churros), Columbus Cicle (maravillosa palza en la esquina suroeste del Central Park con el edificio de dos torres
acristalado más caro de América), El Apple Store (lo pasarás genial) y la FAO-Schuarz (¡Que pedazo tienda de juguetes!),
ambas en la esquina sureste de Central Park.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 16 -
3. Upper Manhattan
El Manhattan superior Upper Manhattan se extiende hacia el norte de la calle 59. Se trata de la
zona más moderna de la ciudad y tiene tres zonas bien diferenciadas de este a oeste:
•
Upper East Side: El símbolo de la elegancia por excelencia. Donde viven los ricos de siempre, la
alta sociedad de Nueva York y quienes conservan los valores más tradicionales. Pero, como pasa
casi siempre en Manhattan, esta zona no es tampoco homogénea. Hay también vecinos algo más
modestos. Es lo que se conoce como Yorkville, la que fue barriada de alemanes, situada más al
noroeste. La riqueza étnica en esta zona es mayor; hay una población joven que se mezcla con
la antigua y existen tiendas y restaurantes más asequibles.
•
Central Park: Entre las avenidas 5ª y 8ª (880 m de ancho) y entre las calles 59 y 110 (4,1 Km
de largo); o sea, 3,6 Km2 de superficie. Es el pulmón de la ciudad y divide al Upper en el East
Side al este y el West Side al oeste. Se inauguró en el 1876. La historia de la ciudad no sería la
misma sin él. Yo diría, que además de bonito, enorme y entretenido es el parque más famoso de
mundo. Todo el mundo lo conoce aunque no lo haya visitado jamás, ya que se han rodado en él
innumerables películas.
•
Upper West Side: Completamente distinto al Upper East Side. No es que sus habitantes no
tengan dinero, que lo tienen, no es que no haya casas de lijo, que las hay (por ejemplo el Dakota
Building, uno de lo edificios más caros de Nueva York), pero es un barrio menos selectivo, con
menos ricos de los de siempre y más difícil de definir. Al lado de los lujosos apartamentos que
dan a Central Park , hay barriadas modestas, y en general, en él vive la clase media,
profesionales de todo tipo relacionados muchos de ellos con el mundo del arte.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 17 -
3.1. Upper East Side
Queensboro Bridge:
The best known use of the bridge was from Woody Allen's film ‘Manhattan’. It has been used in
the credits of the television series as well as being the backdrop of scenes in the films
‘Escape from New York’ or ‘Spider-Man’ It was opened in 1909 from East 59th Street to the
Borough of Queens. The bridge was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering
Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers during the year of its centennial
anniversary. It’s the first entry point into Manhattan in the course of the New York City
Marathon. Its structure is an intricate mass of interlacing steelwork. The bridge has two
levels. It's a double cantilever bridge, as it has two cantilever spans, one over the channel on
each
side
of
Roosevelt Island:
It’s known as Welfare Island from 1921 to 1973. It's a narrow island
in the East River. It's about 3 Kilometres long, with a maximum width of 240 metres. It has a population of about 12,000.
Roosevelt Island is owned by the city and has had several uses. It began hosting a mental hospital, a jail, a shelter for
poor and a hospital for smallpox patients. Then it was urbanized with an attempt to create a residential community. A cable
car was built in 1976 to connect the island to Manhattan and Queens. Today it has become the symbol of the island.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd
President of the United States (1933–1945)
and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century. He led the States during Great Depression and World War
II. He got a near-unanimous declaration of war
Harbour on December 7, 1941, calling it a d
‘ ate
against Japan after the Japanese attack on Pearl
which will live in infamy’. FDR was the only American
president elected to more than two terms. His
reviving the national spirit (the New Deal: a
combination of optimism and activism contributed to
complex, interlocking set of programs designed to
produce relief; the economy improved quickly from 1933 to 1937) He worked closely with Churchill and Stalin in leading the
Allies against Germany and Japan, but he died just before the victory. The creation of United Nations was an example of his
administration's wide-ranging impact. FDR is consistently rated by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.
Bloomingdale’s:
It’s an iconic American department store owned by Macy’s. It started in
1861 when brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale started selling hoop-skirts in their
Ladies Notions' Shop on Lower East Side. Both were sons of Benjamin Bloomingdale, a
Bavarian--born salesman who had lived in North Carolina and Kansas, and settled in NYC. In
1872 the Bloomingdale brothers opened their 1st store at 938 Third Av. It moved in 1886 to
its current location on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. The store was designed with
large plate glass display windows and spacious merchandising areas.
The Rockefeller University:
It was founded in 1901 by J. D. Rockefeller Sr. as
Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. The first institution in the States devoted
solely to using biomedical research to understand the underlying causes of disease,
Rockefeller is today one of the foremost biomedical research centres
in the world, and its scientists have made numerous contributions to
biology and medicine. Over the years, 23 scientists associated with
the university have received Nobel Prizes and 21 have earned the Albert Lasker Medical
Research Award. 14 have received the Gairdner Foundation International Award and 14 have
been given the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honour.
Guggenheim Museum:
It’s situated in Fifth Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets. In 1943,
Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to design a building to house the Museum of Non-Objective
Painting, which had been established by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1939. It opened to
the public on October 21, 1959, and was immediately recognized as an architectural landmark. A
monument to modernism, the unique architecture of the space, with its spiral ramp riding to a domed
skylight, continues to thrill visitors and provide a unique forum for the presentation of contemporary art.
Metropolitan Museum:
nd
The
MET,
as the former Guggenheim is in the Museum Mile (Fifth
Avenue-82 Street). It’s undoubtedly the most important museum in the country. It was founded in
1870 and contains more than one million pieces from all places and times in history, including a
complete Egyptian temple taken by boat to NYC. Website: www.metmuseum.org
Cuando visites el MET debes buscar en su interior una pieza procedente de Valladolid. ¿De que pieza se
trata? No te olvides de tomar una foto de la misma.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
3.2. Central Park
- 18 -
Se inauguró en 1876, después de una larga lucha entre los que
defendían un gran parque público en Manhattan y las
inmobiliarias, que veían la expansión de la ciudad en esta zona
norte. Por fin el Ayuntamiento cedió 341 ha de terrenos
pantanosos, ocupados por infraviviendas para la construcción de
este enorme parque, 1,3 veces mayor que el londinense Hyde
Park, casi 3 veces el Retiro madrileño y casi 30 veces nuestro
Campo Grande. Se tardo en construir 20 años (de 1856 a 1876).
Los arquitectos fueron Frederick Law Olmsted y Calvert Vaux.
Participaron más de 20 mil obreros, dinamitando rocas y
plantando más de 270 mil árboles, con la idea de que fuera un
parque para todos y lo más semejante a un espacio agreste. El
éxito fue tal, que NY sería inimaginable sin este pulmón donde
conviven gentes de todas las razas clases sociales. Tu serás una
de los 25 millones de personas que visitan cada año el parque.
Woody Allen es el realizador cinematográfico más
identificado con NY. Su casa está en la Quinta
Avenida con vistas a Central Park, donde ha
ambientado muchos de sus películas.
Seguro que ya conoces Central Park por los cientos de escenas
cinematográficas que se han rodado aquí. Lo mejor es explorarlo
en un día completo de fin de semana:
Entramos por la Gand Army Plaza (en la esquina sureste) y llegar
al Conservatory Pond, un pequeño estanque. A la derecha subimos
hasta el Children’s Zoo (a la altura de la calle 64). Seguimos por
East Drive hasta el cruce con Transverse donde se halla Dayry,
una antigua vaquería neogótica convertida en centro de
visitantes. Hacia la izquierda cruzando Center está el Carousel,
un típico tiovivo. Más a la izquierda, está el distinguido
restaurante Tavern on the Green (aunque su elevado precio no te
permita comer aquí, no dejes de visitarlo). Puedes ahora cruzar la
enorme alfombra verde Sheep Meadow hacia la punta noreste
donde encontrarás Bandshell, el quiosco de la música (semicírculo
rojo en el mapa a la izquierda de Rumset Playground). Muy cerca,
hacia el norte llegas a Bethesda Fountain, coronada por el Angel
of the Waters, la terraza tiene magníficas vistas a el lago;
debajo de la misma hay un precioso túnel donde suele haber algún
músico o artista. Hacia el este, a la altura de la calle 72, queda el
Strawberry Fields, jardín en memoria de John Lenon, pero ya lo
verás desde el Upper West Side otro día. Ahora es mejor que
bordees el lago hacia el norte hasta Loeb Boathouse donde te
recomiendo que alquiles una barca por una hora ya que es la
mejor manera de conocer los recovecos del The Lake y sus
románticos puentes, como el Bow Bridge, hecho famoso por el
cine. Después del paseo en barca y un buen aperitivo te
recomiendo que te pierdas por The Ramble hacia el norte hasta
llegar al Belvedere Castle, merece la pena que subas para
contemplar el Belvedere Lake. Sal ahora hacia el Egyptian
Obelisk, un monolito de 3000 años de antigüedad donado a la
ciudad en 1877 (detrás del Metropolitan Museum). Por último, si
coincide con la caída de la tarde en un día soleado, te recomiendo
ir hacia el noroeste, a la orilla del Reservoir (en el punto donde te
he puesto un sol); te garantizo las mejores fotos del skyline de
los rascacielos de la Fifth Av. del Upper East Side, ya que el sol
los refleja perfectamente en este enorme estanque de 42 ha
(más de tres veces y media el Campo Grande) que separa el sur (barrio blanco del Upper) del norte (barrio negro de Harlem).
Alrededor verás mucha gente haciendo jogging, pero no debes pasar de aquí. ¡No subas de la calle 88!
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 19 -
3.3. Upper West Side
Lincoln Centre: It was inaugurated in 1959 by President Eisenhower. It’s
located in Broadway and 64th Street. Envisioned as the largest and most
ambitious of any performing arts complex in the world, it was considered a
radical idea at the time, since the plan called for both educational and
performing arts institutions in one location. Its mission of bringing the finest
possible performing arts to the broadest possible audience takes many forms.
Dwight David Eisenhower was a 5-star general and the 34th President of the States from 1953 until 1961. During
World War II, he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, with responsibility for
planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-45. In 1959, he was the first U.S.
President who visited Spain. He set up NASA to compete against the Soviet Union in the space race. He’s often
ranked as one of the top ten U.S. Presidents despite several political mistakes.
Dakota Building: It was NYC’s first large, luxury apartment building. The
10-story building, designed in the French Renaissance style, with a heavy
nod to German Gothic, featured many unique amenities for its time,
including an independent power plant, a gymnasium, playrooms, and wine
cellars. It remains a very prestigious address, particularly for those people
in the arts and entertainment. The former resident best known today is
John Lennon, who was tragically shot in front of the building in 1980. Less
than a year after his death, Strawberry Fields was built as a memorial to
Lennon on the western border of Central Park. His widow,
Yoko Ono , who is still living in Dakota building, donated $1
million to build the landscape opposite the Dakota building
(72nd Street). The most relevant is the large mosaic with
the word IMAGINE written in tile. It often has flowers in the shape of a
peace sign. Each year, on Lennon’s birthday, loyal fans gather in Strawberry Fields to pay tribute to
their beloved Beatles.
Sabías que el Dakota es un edificio donde mucha gente se ha suicidado y donde se dice que se generan
fuerzas malditas. “La semilla del Diablo” de Roman Polansky fue rodada en este edificio construido en
1881. ¿Sabes porque el edificio se llama con el mismo nombre que uno de los estados de EE.UU.?
The American Museum of Natural History is part of the
"museum mile" and opened in 1869. It has 4 floors (plus the lower
level floor) full of interesting things to learn about such us
humans, the space, the sea, animals, minerals, etc. Website:
www.amnh.org Seguro que has visto la 1ª película de “Noche en el Museo” de 2006,
protagonizada por Ben Stiller (el guarda) y Robin Williams (Theodore Roosevelt)
Riverside Park:
It’s the most spectacular waterfront park in NYC. It stretches from
72nd to 158th Streets along the Hudson River. Since 1875, the
landscapes of Frederick Law Olmsted have offered an escape from
the city and opportunities for people of all incomes to relax, play and
socialize in tranquil settings.
The landscape of the park contains rocky precipices, sylvan lawns,
groves of mature elm trees. There are a vital north-south
automobile artery and a railroad running in a tunnel under the entire
park. You will pass through that tunnel when travelling between
Tarrytown and Manhattan without realising it.
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 20 -
4. Harlem
Comprende la zona al norte de Manhattan limitada al sur por 96th St. y al norte por la 155th
St. y el Harlem River. En 1658 surgió como una villa holandesa tomando el nombre de la ciudad
de Harleem en Holanda. Se anexionó a NYC en 1873. Desde entonces ha conocido significativos
cambios étnicos. A finales del s. XIX se van trasladando a esta zona los judíos del Lower East
Side. Los negros de clase media llegan en masa en el 1904 (Fueron atraídos por la gran cantidad
de apartamentos vacíos y townhouses de buena calidad que las inmobiliarias habían construido
con motivo de la llegada del ferrocarril a la zona y que no tuvieron el éxito esperado entre los
blancos que consideraban Harlem demasiado al norte). En los años 20 fue el centro del
florecimiento de una cultura afroamericana conocida como el “Renacimiento de Harlem”. Desde
el ragtime (se origina a finales del s, XIX al adaptar la música clásica europea a los ritmos africanos) al rap (recitación
rítmica de rimas, juegos de palabras y poesía que surge a mediados del s. XX. Es uno de los 4 pilares de la cultura hip hop, de
ahí que a veces se lo llame así), pasando por el jazz (se origina a finales del s. XIX y se expande de forma global a lo largo del
s. XX. Se caracteriza por asimilar otros estilos musicales y generar otros nuevos como el rock and roll. Además presenta
muchos subgéneros: Big Band, Swing, Bop, Cool, West Coast jazz, Free jazz, Jazz modal, Modern Creative, Trad jazz, Bebop,
Hard bop, Jazz vocal, Avant-jazz, Smooth Jazz, Acid jazz, Post-bop, Standards, Dixieland y New Orleans Hot), toda la
música ha tenido que ver con momentos de gran ebullición en Harlem. Desde los años 30 a 60 tuvieron lugar muchos conflictos
raciales, y desde los 70 a los 80 se alcanzan altos índices de criminalidad. Sin embargo, desde 1995 se esta recuperando y
actualmente es el corazón de la comunidad afroamericana de NYC y el punto de referencia de todo lo que ha sido la cultura
negra. Sin embargo, a pesar de este denominador común, no es un barrio uniforme:
East Harlem: También conocido como "Spanish Harlem" y "El Barrio", es un vecindario en el noreste de
Manhattan donde, vive la mayoría de la comunidad hispana de NYC. Antiguamente conocido como el Harlem Italiano
(representado por Fiorello Laguardia que se convertiría en alcalde de NYC); todavía posee una pequeña población de italoestadounidenses (que en sí también son latinos). Desde los años 50 predominan los descendientes de puertorriqueños, a veces
llamados Nuyoricans. Es una zona pobre y con mucha delincuencia donde sólo se habla español; por esto, no la vamos a visitar.
A pesar de todo, debes de saber que aquí se encuentran: el Museo del Barrio, el Museum of the City of NY, la NY Academy
of Medicine y el Mount Sinai Hospital, todos en la 5ª Av. Entre las calles 98 y 105). Este último fue fundado en 1852 para la
comunidad judía. Presta servicio, tanto a los pobres de Harlem como a los acomodados del Upper East Side. Esta mezcla
social caracteriza al Hospial Monte Sinai, que pasa por ser uno de los más caros y avanzados del mundo, pero que al mismo
tiempo siempre dispone de camas para la gente sin recursos. En este hospital trabajan profesionales de gran renombre
internacional como el cardiólogo español Valentín Fuster que es el director del área de cardiología. Otro eminente psiquiatra
español que es miembro de la Academia de Medicina de NY y que es profesor de la Universidad de NY es Luís Rojas-Marcos.
¿Sabes que una exalumna del IES Jul ián Marías consiguió una beca para completar sus estudios de Medicina en este hospital?
West Harlem: En domingo tomamos a las 9 de la
mañana el Metro North Railroad desde Tarrytown hasta
Harlem-125th. Las calles y avenidas de Harlem sustituyen los
fríos números por el nombre de los héroes de la lucha racial. Así
la 6ª Av. es la Lenox o Malcon X Boulevard, la 7ª Av. es el Adam
Clayton Powell Jr. Bowlevard, la 8ª es el Frederick Douglas
Boulevard y la 125th Street, la principal, es el Martin Luther
King Boulevard. Caminando por ella hacia el este encontramos el
Theresa Hotel, donde se alojara Fidel Castro en 1960. En la
intersección con la 5ª vemos el National Black Theatre, donde
se estrenan obras de artistas contemporaneos negros y donde
el expresidentes Bill Clintón trasladó su oficina en los 90. Más adelante está The Studiuo Museum in Harlem, dedicado a los
artistas negros. Más al este, llegamos al famosísimo Apolo Theater de 1913, donde actuaron Aretha Franklin y todas las
grandes figuras del jazz y del blues hasta los años 60. En la 7ª giramos a la izquierda y en el 2081 – Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Blvd. donde está la iglesia evangélica (baptist church) Greater Refuge Temple donde a las 11 de la mañana asistiremos a la
misa gospel. La música gospel, espiritual o evangélica, es la música religiosa que surgió en las iglesias afroamericanas en el s.
XVIII y que se hizo popular durante la década de los 30. La palabra original es GodSpell (Dios anuncia). Las letras reflejan
los valores de la iglesia cristiana. Después de la misa bajamos por la misma calle de la iglesia hasta la calle 116, girando a la
izquierda podemos almorzar en Amy Ruth's. Por la tarde podemos visitar la prestigiosa Columbia University, fundada en
1754 bajo un decreto del rey Jorge II de Inglaterra. Comprende un terreno de 6 manzanas. Nuestro expresidente J.M.
Aznar da en ella conferencias en inglés con cierta asiduidad. Al sur de esta universidad podemos visitar St, John the Divine
Cathedral, de estilo neogótico, cuya construcción se inició en 1892 y que no está terminada aún, pero que será la catedral más
grande del mundo (cabrán dos campos de futbol).
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
5. Some more help
Subway:
- 21 -
También le puedes llamar underground (recuerda que en Londres lo llamaban tube).
Aquí tienes un mapa de las líneas de Manhattan. La línea negra es de ferrocarril (railway).
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
- 22 -
¿Cómo llamar a España?:
Al llamar a España, para empezar la llamada necesitas marcar 011, que significa que es una llamada
internacional. Luego se marca el código para el país que se quiere llamar. Cada país tiene un número de
dos o tres dígitos, por ejemplo España 34. Después marcas él número del domicilio al que quieres
llamar. Un ejemplo: Para hacer una llamada a larga distancia desde los EE.UU. a Valladolid:
•
•
•
•
Marcas 011 (Código Internacional)
luego 34 (El código para España)
luego 983 (El código para Madrid)
Y luego marcas el número fijo o móvil con el que quieres hablar.
Direcciones útiles:
•
EF International School of English New York - New York Campus, 100 Marymount Avenue,
Tarrytown, New York - (914) 597-7100 - www.ef.com
•
Consulado de España en Nueva York. 150 East 58th Street, 30th floor (entre la 3ª Av. y
Lexington). Código Postal: 10155. Teléfonos: 355 40 80/ 40 81/ 40 82/ 40 85/ 40 86/ 40 90/
40 91. Tel. desde España: 1 212 355 40 80/ 40 81/ 40 82/ 40 85/ 40 86/ 40 90/ 40 91 Fax: (1
212) 644 37 51. Cónsul General, D. Fernando M. Villalonga. [email protected]
•
•
•
•
•
Urgencias (llamada gratuita): 911
Asistencia no urgente: 311
Información telefónica: 411
Operadora: 0
Cruz Roja: 1-800-442-5980
Mis Direcciones:
My Brief Historic Guide about New York, by Manuel Sánchez Valiente
Referencias:
- 23 -
En esta guía, además de mi propia experiencia, he utilizado algunas guías y
artículos de revistas de viajes sobre NYC. Algunas imágenes han sido tomadas con mi propia cámara y
otras son de dominio público en Internet. Quiero resaltar un librito de fotos antiguas titulado “New
York Then and Now” que compre por tan sólo 2 dólares en una de las famosas librerías de la cadena
Borders en el primer viaje que hice a Nueva York. Sin embargo, la obra que más me ha ayudado en esta
labor, y con la que podéis disfrutar al finalizar este viaje es:
“Nueva York” de Edward Rutherfurd, el mismo autor de “London”. Se trata de una
novela histórica de 938 páginas que se lee en muy poco tiempo, porque te engancha desde
el comienzo al fin. Esta publicada por RocaEditorial. Te recomiendo que la leas este verano
después de venir de Nueva York; si te gusta la novela histórica, estás ante la obra
perfecta. La historia arranca en 1664 cuando Nueva York es aún Nueva Ámsterdam y está
bajo control holandés, y acaba en una fecha clave para la ciudad: el 10 de septiembre de
2001 (más un epílogo que remite al verano de 2009). A lo largo de estos 4 siglos, la ciudad
va cambiando, creciendo lo mismo que sus habitantes. Como ya sabemos, Nueva York es una
metrópoli multicultural y multirracial. No sólo la forjaron holandeses e ingleses, sino que
también dejaron su huella: hispanos, italianos, alemanes, irlandeses. Edward Rutherfurd va
tejiendo los lazos entre ellos a través de las relaciones que van experimentando las
diversas sagas familiares que aparecen como coprotagonistas de la novela junto a la propia
Nueva York. Algunas de estas sagas tienen un poco más de protagonismo que otras, caso de
los Van Dick holandeses, los Master (de origen inglés), los O'Donell netamente irlandeses.
Hay ricos burgueses, esclavos negros, comerciantes, banqueros, gente más humilde... Un
conglomerado de nacionalidades que hacen aún más viva y creíble la historia. Es también
una novela muy gráfica. No puedes evitar ir leyéndola y verla convertida en una serie pero
de las buenas. Edward Rutherfurd tiene un estilo que sabe cómo atrapar al lector. Te involucras en la historia y te sientes
pasear tanto por el Manhattan holandés como el de finales del siglo XX. Llegas a entender y a comprender el espíritu
neoyorquino y lamentas que haya cosas y lugares que hayan desaparecido como los barrios con las casas holandesas y
gregorianas. Viejos barrios de casas señoriales que luego dieron lugar a rascacielos como el Empire State. Si amas o te gusta
esta ciudad, este sentimiento lo notas más grande al finalizar la lectura. Es una novela que muestra a un Nueva York con alma.
Fascinante e impresionante. Te recomiendo también una excelente Web interactiva de Roca Editorial sobre la historia de
NYC: www.nuevayorklanovela.com
Notas:
Expreso mi agradecimiento a la labor de Cèire Broderick (lectora de Inglés en el IES Julián Marías) por su
cariño y paciencia en la corrección del texto en inglés de esta guía. Sin su ayuda jamás me hubiese atrevido a
escribirla. También agradezco el entusiasmo de todos los participantes (alumnos y sus padres) en esta aventura
de conocer Nueva York al tiempo que se aprende inglés; así como a la dirección del IES Julián Marías, Consejo
Escolar y Claustro de Profesores por haber dado vía libre a esta actividad.
Valladolid, 26 de abril de 2011