The Greatest Days in New York

Central Park West - New York City - 2013

I’ve been continuing viewing Ric Burns’ New York documentary – and am now up to Episode 7 – The City and the World (1945-2000) – on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

A few minutes into this episode, David McCullough comments that if he could pick a time to be in New York, it would be at the end of World War II – in the spring of 1946 when the American troops were coming home from Europe on the great ocean liners like the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary – twice a month ferrying troops back into New York City.

Ray Suarez comments that the thing about New York is that there isn’t just one thing. It’s vibrant. Pete Hamill notes that it was then still a manufacturing town. Proud guys, working guys, but troubles ahead. While New York comes out of the war on top, other forces are at work. LaGuardia ends up dying of pancreatic cancer at 64 years old – after 12 years as mayor. And the changes begin.

The back story about Robert Moses – and his beginnings described in Episode 6 – is fascinating. Robert Caro, author of “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York” about Moses provides great commentary during both episodes.

I’ve got an old used book copy of The Power Broker on the bookshelf behind me. Seems like a particularly good time to pick it back up and re-read once again before I head to New York again in June.

I’m only now coming up to the description of building the UN headquarters building in New York. So much more…

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