“The Modern Babylon”

ny

New York is not a very old city. It was founded some 403 years ago, in 1610*, after Henry Hudson, an English explorer hired by the Dutch, on board his ship „ The Discovery”, had entered the place known at present as Hudson bay.

The explorer and his men were searching for a passage to the Indies. The new places were inhabited by Red Indians who were by no means hostile to the new colonists. At the beginning of the 17th century only the wigwams of Indians stood where the sky-scrapers of New York now reach to the clouds.

The first colonists came from  Holland. The Dutch named their American colony, New Amsterdam and lived comfortable and prosperous life there. In 1664 an English fleet under the command of the Duke of York sailed into the harbour and captured the city without any fight. At that time England was at war with Holland. When the war between the two countries was over the English refused to give back the colony (which they had renamed New York after the Duke of York). Under the rule of the English, the city’s development was slow.

It was not until the end of the 18th century that the city’s real growth began.

The development of the city became more rapid in the 19th century especially after the construction of the Erie Canal, which connects New York with the coal and iron mines of the Great Lakes district and the rich grain-producing plains of the Middle West. The city we know today has, however, come into being within the last 125 years.

At the turn of the 20th century millions of people driven by poverty emigrated to the New World from various European countries. They entered the American continent through New York and a great number settled down in the city. Over three quarters (1970) of New York’s inhabitants may be termed „foreigners” in the sense that they cannot say they have ancestors who were born in the U.S.A. That is why New York has been called „The Modern Babylon”. Statistics show that more Irish people live in New York than in Dublin, more Icelanders than in Reykjavik, more Italians than in Rome. In New York one can find many quarters inhabited almost entirely by Chinese, Italians, African, etc. Thus in Chinatown one hears more Chinese than English spoken. Over than 8 millions inhabitans live in the city and its suburbs. In the New York one can see the famous Empire State Building. It has 102 stores and it is 1472 feet ( 440 metres) high. From the top of this man-made giant one can see the strange silhouettes of the city’s sky-scrapers, so different from one to another in height, maretial and style. It is on the banks of the East River that majestic United Nation Building was erected after WW2. It houses the great international forum, which is an embodiment of the idea of cooperation among states with different social and political systems.

Manhattan and the other islands are connected with one another by tunnels and bridges, e.g. Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washinton Bridge, the Hudson Bridge. The great sky-scrapers are complete cities in themselves, containing restaurants, banks and offices. One may have one’s watch repaired, one’s hair cut, do all kind of shoppings and have one lunch inside the same building, in the short lunch interval at one’s disposal.

Greenwich Village, the quarter for popular artists, fairs, bazaars and shows of every kind, is one of the most pitoresque district of the city.

Comparatively few of New York’s inhabitants live in Manhattan, although a very great number of them spend a considerable part of the day there. The residential districts are spread over the other four boroughs of the city: Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Richmond.

New York is the seat of great number of well-known banks, commercial insurances and shipping companies, big industrial trust, e.t.c. which centre round the famous financial district known under the name of Wall Street.

Nearby one can see the New York Stock Exchange filled from 9.30 am till 4.00 pm with a crowd of noisy and excited people who are busy making different bargains.

New York is also a very important cultural centre, with many institutions of higher education, libraries, and theatres. One should not forget the famous Metropolitan Opera House, The Modern Art Museum, the Brooklyn Institute, Columbia University, The Metropolitan Museum of art, the National Broadcasting and T.V. Company (NBC), etc.

At the entrance to the port the visitor comes across the very high Statue of Liberty, a gift of the French people to the American nation after the War of American Independence (1775-1783).

There are still many contradictions in New York. The visitor (one of 40 millions/year)*** may come across squalid dwellings which are often wedged between the most expensive hotels and the most fashionable residential areas.

Source: Victor Hanea „ Limba engleza – Curs Practic” Ed. 1977

So what is my point by writing this blog? I’m amazed how come NY ,which is only 403 years old, is managing to be one of most important city in the world. What is rising it? A mix of culture, of ideas, its geopolitical position between all the U.S.A states? It’s possible!

*some of the websites relate that NY has been founded in 1625, personally I trust more in my old books than online information;

** www.history.com says nowadays are more than 1/3 of whom were born ouside of NY;

*** www.history.com

Romanian Tourist Sites

“Romania – country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea, shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south. The ninth largest country of the European Union by area, has as its capital and largest city – Bucharest, the sixth largest city in the EU with about two million people. The Kingdom of Romania emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza in 1859. Independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on May 9, 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania. Greater Romania emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until World War II. By the end of the War, many north-eastern areas of Romania’s territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, and Romania forcibly became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began its transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy and joined NATO on March 29, 2004, the European Union on January 1, 2007 and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE, of the WTO, of the BSEC and of the United Nations.”
Youtube Source

Desire

Desire

Come now to the forest’s spring
Running wrinkling over the stones,
To where lush and grassy furrows
Hide away in curving boughs.

Then you can run to my open arms,
Be held once more in my embrace,
I’ll gently lift that veil of yours
To gaze again upon your face.

And then you can sit upon my knee,
We’ll be all alone, alone there,
While the lime tree thrilled with rapture
Showers blossoms on your hair.

Your white brow with those golden curls
Will slowly draw near to be kissed,
Yielding as prey to my greedy mouth
Those sweet, red, cherry lips . . .

We’ll dream only happy dreams
Echoed by wind’s song in the trees,
The murmur of the lonely spring,
The caressing touch of the gentle breeze.

And drowsy with this harmony
Of a forest bowed deep as in prayer,
Lime-tree petals that hang above us
Will fall sifting higher and higher.

Mihai Eminescu

Spring harbingers

Spring harbingers

From sunny countries and skies blue
From which last automn-tide you flew,
Return, dear birds, where you belong,
Most welcome, you!
The woods, bereft of leaf and song,
Weep for they have missed you too long.

In the eternal dome of azure
Did you not dream with longside pleasure
Of what you left? Did you not sigh
For dear Home’s leisure?
Or cry when seeing in the sky
The clouds that northwardly did hie?

You sang to Nature paeans fraught
With holiness, strangers you taught
Our soulful doinas when, at times,
Of us you thought.
But did you tell them that their rhymes
Excle all those of other climes?

Now you come home – and you will see,
Again, the wood, the field, the lea,
Your nests in groves, so warm and deep;
‘Tis summer, verily.
I feel I have a mind to leap,
To laugh for joy, for joy to weep!

You come accompanied by flowers,
By gentle winds and sun-warmed showers,
And nights so rife with honey-dew,
And cheerful hours.
You thus take everything with you,
And bring back everything anew.

George Cosbuc

“Vivi i colori”

100_3880 The 2013 edition of the Venice Carnival brings the ancient times to nowadays through a rich program of shows between January 26th and February 12nd. Colours, concerts, masked parades, balls, many theatrical performances and representations are enriching Venice during the Carnival.

Back in time
”Carnem Levare” is the origin of carnival word, a Latin term which means to “eliminate meat from diet” or ”Farewell, meat”. Edges ago (they say it was in 1162 when starts as a tradition) during the Carnival people were characterized by an extraordinary delectation of food, drinks, and sensual pleasures in general. The social order was subverted, and all the usual roles upset. People were hiding their identities behind the masks and all forms of social class were annulled, allowing anyone to pose the behaviors and attitudes of the costume they chose to represent and interpret.
This ecstatic ability to participate incognito in this rite of collective’s disguise was the essence of Carnival and last even today.
Later in the eighteenth century, ” it was Giacomo Casanova’s world, a festive place, both colorful and gallant. It was the world of painters. It’s the native land of Carlo Goldoni, in his literary production represents the spirit of the holidays of Carnival”
They say that during Carnival time business affairs of the Venetians were passing in the background as they conceded a lot of time to celebrate, tell jokes, and enjoy entertainment and shows throughout the city.
These are events that concur among with the architecture, the engineering marvel and make Venice, a place of endless capture.

What we can expect today
The silent water parade – a water parade of parade of traditional boats and gondolas floats along the Canal Grande, lit only with candles.
Mardi Gras Colours Show: Hard Rock Cafe presents REZOPHONIC IN CONCERT –  Famous national and international music starts will create an outstanding music concert to say goodbye, with colours and music, to the Carnival 2013.
The colours of music: „ Lo sceicco bianco” – the best of Frederico Fellini’s movies Soundtrack – live music. The movie world will be the protagonist of this night in San Marco Square, staring on Gran Teatro stage in a wonderful concert, full of the best hits of the most famous soundtracks from Frederico Fellini’s movies, performed by ‚ harmonia Ensemble” Orchestra.

The official website and the schedule can be found at: http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/programma.php?slang=en