Living in the Shadows of Sky Scrapers!
Culturally, New York has become a truly international city with the influx of intellectual, musical and artistic refugees from Europe since the 1930s. NY has replaced Paris as the center of the art world and rivaled London as an art market. The present day city owes a lot to two great visionaries - Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and city planner Robert Moses - who gave the city its wide roads, spacious parks and adequate housing.
The "Big Apple" has had its share of great moments and some forgettable ones as well. This DVD presents an exhilarating picture of the many ethnic groups that have made New York their home and contrasts these with some pathetic visuals of New Yorkers who lived in pitiful conditions under the shadows of the mighty skyscrapers in the first half of the 20th century.
Around the World in New York
This film provides a delightful tour of New York’s lower and upper Manhattan districts. You will see people of many nationalities that have made New York their home while retaining much of their culture and traditions. Featured in this film is "The New World’s version of the Old World bazaar" with everything from pickles to clothes being sold on the streets. Mouthwatering Chinese and Italian delicacies and some frothy Bavarian beer are also featured. You will get a glimpse of hard-fought games like Puerto Rican baseball, and an Italian version of bowling. Scenes from St. Patrick’s Day and the Chinese New Year’s Day celebrations are reminiscent of ancient Irish and Chinese traditions. Music, dance and other festivities included in this film make it enjoyable while a lively narrative helps in understanding the scenes.
Color: BLACK & WHITE
For the Living
This film highlights the plight of people living in New York’s slums in the ‘40s. Overcrowding, dirt, illness and death were the hallmarks of these slums. The film tells the story of how city planners planned, designed and built housing projects, which offered a better life style at affordable prices. The use of black and white film and a sensitive narration add to the pathos that prevailed in the slums of New York.
Sponsor: New York City Housing Authority
Producer: New York City, Television Production Unit
Color: BLACK & WHITE
Rochester a City of Quality
This film highlights the many wonders that Rochester offered to potential investors in real estate. It lays special emphasis on cleanliness and spaciousness that the city was so proud of. You will see Rochester as it was over 40 years ago and also note its eagerness to be among the most modern, sophisticated and beautiful places in America. The wide streets and glittering shopping complexes shown in some of the clips stand witness to the city’s determination to be among the best.
Sponsor: Rochester Gas & Electric
Producer: Jam Handy Organization
DVD One: 01:06:31
Few places on earth thrill, as does the bustling metropolis of New York. The city’s multi-ethnic and multi cultural makeup has earned it several enviable soubriquets such as "the West’s Bazaar of the East" and "Melting Pot of the World’s Cultures".
One only has to view the clip Around the World in New York to get a feel of the cultural diversity that existed in New York in the 40s. Through vivid shots of Lower Manhattan’s chaotic street bazaars and colorful images of various festivals such as the centuries old St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the clamorous Chinese New Year celebrations, the film offers glimpses of life in New York. A Puerto Rican ball game and a peep into an Italian kitchen provide further evidence of the New York’s multinational make up.
In stark contrast to the vibrant scenes you will witnesses in the previous clip, For the Living offers a stark, gloomy and touching account of the miserable lives people in New York had to endure, before the Government stepped in with a practical and affordable solution to the city’s pressing need for affordable houses.
Rochester a City of Quality provides a thrilling finale to an absorbing account of life in New York. The wide streets, sparkling shopping complexes and comfortable and elegant housing shown in this clip showcase the outstanding determination of Rochester to become the best city in the world.
Perceptive direction is apparent in each of the three clips on this terrific DVD, which enthralls you one moment with lively action and then has you reaching out for a tissue with a gripping account of the overcrowding, dirt, illness and death in the slums in the next.
"I live in Rochester, and was pleasantly surprised to witness a pictorial history of this great place in this fabulous DVD. The clip provides some breathtaking views of the natural beauty of Rochester and places around it. Fortunately, Rochester has kept its cool and has not bowed down to the pressures of urbanization. It remains one of the most spacious cities of America, attracting people from all over the country. The other clips are equally fascinating and provide a great look at life in New York over half a century ago." Charles Kensington (Millbrook, New York)
"I loved the clip "For the Living". I loved it because it is so upbeat and shows how everyone from the government to the city planners did everything they could to make housing affordable for everybody. It also shows how varied life in New York was back then (as it is now). The scenes depicting hardships people endured in the slums are touching, while shots of various migrants who now are a part of the city’s multi-cultural inhabitants are amusing. This DVD is certain to inform and entertain and rates fairly high in my book." Pergiara Monte (Ontario, New York)
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