Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Day They Took King George's Statue down in Bowling Green NYC

Jack Stanley, a tour guide and historian who works with Uncle Sams, writes a great piece on the Bowling Green issue.

On July 9, 1776, there was a rush to tear down the statue of King George the 3rd in Bowling Green Park. How did it happen and why? It seems that the Declaration of Independence was read in New York for the first time on that summers day.

Who was it read for? George Washington's troops that were located where New York's City Hall is now located. It has always been my belief that George Washington's troops were celebrating the release of the document. I would not be surprised if they had been drinking.
They came down full of revolutionary excitement to the Bowling Green Park. Tore off all the crowns on the fencing around the park. Then they came into the park and toppled the gilded lead statue of King George the 3rd.

The statue was chopped up and shipped to Connecticut. It was there that King George's statue was made into over 42,000 bullets. Therefore the King's lead would be fired at his own troops.

It was the beginnings of a revolution. But what is not usually known in our history of New York is that New York City during the entire American Revolution was occupied by the British. In fact the British flag flew over New York City as the battle for Independence was fought on many fronts.
Today we always talk of our independence taking place on July 4, 1776. That is the common day we have claimed as the date we wished to get it, but to be honest, independence was declared on July 2, 1776. The paperwork was signed on the 4th.

This of course did not mean we were independent at all. In fact the United States was not truly independent till November 25, 1783. That date was called "Evacuation Day". This was the day the British Flags went down over New York City and the American Flag went up for the first time in the city as well.

That in many ways is our true Independence Day. For that is the day we truly got it!

Today as you walk by Bowling Green Park, you can feel the history and see the original fence that surrounds the park, minus it crowns of course. That is where it all began in the American Revolution in New York City. Look around and feel the history, it is all around you.

For New York is also a city in which the history never sleeps as well.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Interesting NYC tidbit of the day - Shadowlands

One of the most famous plays in New York City opened this day 19 years ago. Shadowlands, a piece inspired by C.S Lewis (famous for his ¨Chronicles of Narnia¨), has played over 169 performances at the Brooks Atkins Theater and continues to amaze audiences.

Shadowlands was originally conceived by Norman Stone as a drama for Thames television. In 1983, he tapped Brian Sibley, the author of C.S. Lewis Through the Shadowlands: The Story of His Life with Joy Davidman, to research and write the script, which they called Surprised by Joy. Thames television lost interest in producing the project but refused to release the rights to Sibley¹s teleplay. Stone then engaged William Nicholson to compose a new text. This version became Shadowlands and was produced for bbc television in 1985. It featured Joss Acklund and Claire Bloom. Nicholson subsequently rewrote the work as a stage play, incorporating considerable new material

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

That Amazing Apple We Call Big

With Bloomberg and Thompson heading off the November 3rd election, it's interesting to think what NYC has gone through in the past few years. Alot of the rhetoric against Bloomberg is that he's put us in this financial collapse and doesn't deserve to be re-elected. Let me begin with the fact that I'm not endorsing Bloomberg or Thompson. But it may be interesting to analyze what NYC has gone through in the past 8 years.

With the financial collapse of the markets, many think of NYC as a fallen city. "It's no longer the financial capital of the world", "No one wants to go to NYC anymore", "It's not as cool" (and any other cliched one liners you can think of). But the reality is far from such baseless remarks.

More people have immigrated to NYC in the past eight years than ever before. Tourism is at it's highest, and while unemployment is high, people are beginning to find jobs every day. Companies are hiring, revenues are returning and people are smiling again. Everyone I know still love to live in NYC. Many are taking jobs with less pay simply to live in the amazing city of ours.

I personally remember moving to NYC many years ago and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was so happy all the time. I barely knew anyone and life was rather monotonous (that is if you ignore the craziness of NYC itself). But that's really it. It's that the city is a character in itself. It's energy, it's unpredictability and it's beauty will never be gone.

NYC Marathon 2009

While many of us were still hungover from a fantastic Saturday night Hallow's Eve, thousands of eager and much too in shape runners took top form at the NYC Marathon---the most coveted marathon in the world. Covering all 5 boroughs, the NYC Marathon, brings the best from across the globe in one of the most athletically challenging competitions ever. Congrats to all who attempted to finish, all who did finish, and of course to the first American winner since 1982, Meb Keflezigh.