As a child growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line, ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood. Decades later, his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever.
Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs—an astonishing 6,000 miles. His journey took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and all walks of life. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan.
Helmreich admits that "you have to be a little crazy to explore the city as I did". But big cities do that to you. Their scale and Babel-like hubris seem to demand an extreme response. On his footloose wanderings, he recorded conversations with New Yorkers, including current and former mayors, reassuring his subjects with the words: "It's all right, I'm a professor." His aim was to see how New York has changed since the disastrous years of the 1970s, when the city was almost bankrupt and the murder rate rose to 2,000 per year. That was when Travis Bickle sat in his taxi and ranted against the "whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers and junkies" on the city's mean streets. By the 80s, crime and social deprivation had turned New York into a place of fear. John Carpenter's 1981 film Escape from New York, which depicted a hellish place transformed into a convict colony, seemed to reflect ordinary Americans' horror of their most infamous sin city.
But today the city is enjoying "a tremendous renaissance". The murder rate is down to around 500 annually and, Helmreich writes, "New York is now perhaps the safest large city in the country". Its success, he thinks, stems from two groups of people: the immigrants and the gentrifiers. The former brought an incredible drive and ambition; the latter have transformed how the city is seen, turning it into a fashionable, exciting place, bubbling with new ideas and commercial potential. It is now a city people want to live in, not escape from.
It's refreshing to read a book that celebrates so unreservedly the ethnic diversity of a city and entirely fitting that it should be about a metropolis that has always been defined by its cosmopolitan culture. For Helmreich, the city's diversity is the well-spring of its success. When he finds three restaurants in one small area offering food from six cultures – Italy, Mexico, Korea, Japan, China and Spain – Helmreich sounds like a proud father talking about his gifted daughter: "That's New York!"
Its history and the books we was much influenced by this trip. Mostly, his trip to India that the brand and its reflection in advance of travel and discovery.
India is really different to America and New York. The culture, peoples, the city like New Delhi.
India is the second most populous country and the seventh largest country in the world. The Indian coastline stretches over seven thousand kilometres. The country shares borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north and northeast, Bangladesh and Burma to the east. On the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of the Maldives to the southwest, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to the southeast. India also claims a border with Afghanistan to the northwest.
New Delhi is well built south of the old city and became the capital of British India in 1911. In 1947, independent India confirms New Delhi as the capital of the new country: New Delhi, located within the territory of the capital.
Today, India is recognized as an emerging power. After launching the Non-Aligned Movement under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, now it forges strategic partnerships with all the major powers: the United States under the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) 10, China with which it is moving towards a settlement of the border dispute between the two countries. India, since its opening to world trade in the 1990s, has also sought to build stronger ties with the member countries of ASEAN, through the Look East policy. The country has also advanced its candidature with the G4 (Brazil, Germany, India, Japan) to obtain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
However, the external relations of India are marked by the ongoing conflict with neighboring Pakistan over Kashmir. Like Pakistan, India has not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation and has acquired nuclear weapons. She conducted a "peaceful" explosion in 1974 and tests in May 1998.