In the early Fifties many of the people from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico decided to pack their bags and move to New York City. Overnight, it seemed, a portion of Harlem came to be known as "Spanish Harlem" - where hastily assembled mambo dance halls could be found among restaurants serving the exotic cuisine of the Caribbean. There were also complications that emerged with the new comers that are addressed in this 1955 article:
"Today, however, there is a forceful change taking place, an influence so great that New York City officials have forecast a startling racial shift within a few years and are already making plans for meeting this switch..."
When this article hit the newsstands, W.W. II was in full swing throughout many parts of Asia, Europe and North Africa. America had not yet committed itself to the war, but the grim, far-seeing souls who ran New York City recognized that it was inevitable - and much to their credit, they had been studying the possibility of New York City air raids since 1939.
Another article about wartime N.Y. can be read here...
"Few Times Square tourists recognize Johnny Broderick, but New York mobsters cringe at the mention of his name. Meet Broadway's one-man riot squad in his own bailiwick, where the lights are brightest."
The words and deeds of Johnny Broderick were so widely known that visiting politicians would request that he take charge of their security details and the broadcasting moguls wanted to make radio shows celebrating his daring-do. His round-house punch was known far and wide; cops like this one do not come along too often.
Attached is a spirited article that gives an account of the Jewish population surge in 1920s New York. Even as early as 1921, nearly half of the Jews in all of North America lived in that city and every fourth New Yorker was a Jew.
Click here to read about the Jewish population growth in the Unites States during the 1920s.
Who could write an accurate assessment of social New York better than a celebrated Broadway playwright? Exactly; that is why we were so happy to find this essay by Clare Boothe Luce (1903 – 1987) on just that very topic:
"The New York Social Register for 1931 contained about thirty-five thousand names, an increase of fifteen thousand over the Social Register of 1914; and the fourteen social registers of the largest American cities contained more than one hundred thousand names - an increase of over fifty thousand names during the same length of time."
These figures are particularly remarkable when one considers that the social register of exactly one hundred years ago, Longworth's New York Directory, boasted exactly eighteen names."
From Amazon: Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce
•There is a Famous Photograph of N.Y. that We All Know: This Documentary Tells the Story of that Image•
"New York City's contributions to the American language go considerably further than the pronunciation of 'avenyeh' for avenue or 'erl' for lubricant. Peter Stuyvesant's village has made rich entries into our spoken and written tongue. A handful, culled from Dr. Mitford M. Matthew's A Dictionary of Americanisms
Click here to read more articles about American English.