Documentary Study_ NewYorkers_ Personal Essay
Real New Yorkers
Were you changed by New York or do you change the New York? During spring semester of English 102 class course, in Pratt institute, I learned one thing. New York has been constantly changed. Whether it’s changed by the city, or the city is enforcing you to be fit with it, the city is changing even now. New York has money, spotlight, nostalgia to everyone, which attract all these tourists, aliens to visit this city least once in their life. All these tourists have their own fantasy about New York’s luxurious multinational culture. But, in reality New York is one of the most dangerous cities in the USA. In fact, USA is dangerous comparing the country where I came from. Strong spotlight comes with a sharp shadow, and that’s New York City. Therefore, being a New Yorker isn’t fun as it sounds. “Only in New York”: Personal Experience Narrative, written by Cornelia Cody, shows how ordinary New Yorkers cope with the city. A New Yorker, the one must be experienced something related with crimes. -- It’s just too dangerous. Thieves could break into your car, at least two times. Or, you might experiences racism from a Chinese landlord. Yet, these dangerous stories become funny story to New Yorkers. New Yorkers often talk about their adventures to others like nothing ever happened to them. It’s a juxtaposition that actual New Yorkers think the city for them is different than the visitors. New York is special, because of how New Yorker’s retranslate their stories in a humorous way.
The Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Illustrates a wise New Yorker investigates a murder case. Murder case could be found through the rear window of an apartment. Jeff, a photographer had an accident, and his leg is broken. Now he has nothing to do at his place, where over 90 degree hot weather without air conditional. All he can do is watching his neighborhood through his rear window. One day, he found a clue of murder case while he is observing his neighbor.
In 13th of July, 1977 the city hits 25hours of blackout. During the blackout, there are huge contrast things happening in New York City. High class’s citizens enjoyed the night without light with a romantic candles. On the other hand, all these low income citizens came out to the street and made a lot of problems. People looted items like going shopping, and an entire block of the buildings were burned down within 25 hours in Bushwick.
According to Cody, New Yorkers have an ability of retranslate of an event, and accidents. Cody argues with Elliott Oring’s theory of incongruity that Human’s perception is directly related with their resolution through the natural incongruity. It ends up with their pleasure. Regarding the pleasure, Cody also mentioned a theory of having a conversation with a different generation person, could give you a superior feeling to them. In fact, Cody supports the this theory with a conversation between Val and Anita. Cody also says that “Much of New York Humors entails the piecing together of disparate (often threatening) entities.” Ultimately, Cody argues that these all dangerous events could be told funny, because the way people talk about.
A murder investigate film, the rear window ends with a funny feminism scene, where a woman figures the case and a masculine guy is sleeping like a baby right next to the woman’s lap while the woman is reading her favorite fashion magazine, like all these New York females cope with their events everyday. A lovely, elegant, and high-end fashionable woman, Lisa could be rejected by a photographer. Because of the personal preference gap is too big between an adventurous photographer and a girl who has never lived outside of the castle like a princess. A photographer, Jeff, who lives into variety of adventure, whether it costs his convenient life, thinks the girl is too naïve and weak to handle himself. However, at the end of the story in The Rear Window, after Lisa figured the murder case out, Jeff is sleeping on the bed, and Lisa is reading a fashion magazine back to him. It’s a strong sarcasm of how New Yorkers could cope with their event. Also, this scene indicates that Lisa seems making fun of the incidents and Jeff in a same time, while she is reading the magazine. Just like, she has experienced an ordinary thing in NYC. Therefore, Lisa proves that New Yorkers could retranslate a murder case. Also, New Yorkers finds incongruity in their still life for their own pleasure, which could be related with a murder case like this movie. Finally, humans’ generation gap could be overcome, depends on how you handles it like Lisa did. (Quote for)
The city is consistently changes, Cody says(Quote). In fact, New Yorkers are changed constantly. Cody also supports her idea referring B. A. Botkin’s perception of transforming New York City. Botkin also agrees, “Nothing in New York is static (See Ozick 1999). Botkin also includes citizens’ identity into the category of a transforming as well. Cody also shows an example from the part that Steve’s statement of New York citizens’ lack of privilege right in the city, when he explains how to react to the violent yellow cap driver as a real New Yorker. (Quote) Cody finally finished the arguments with the inputs personal view of New Yorkers’ behavior. Cody says that New Yorkers’ feel superiority, because they could laugh at these dangerous experiences. These experience become norms in front of the New Yorkers’ one afternoon teatime talk subject. Furthermore, the New Yorkers observe their still life to find the Incongruities of New York life for breaking down the chain of depressing condition of New York City.
One day in 1977 changed the entire neighborhood in Brooklyn. Bushwick, where originally middle class hard workers used to live, became the hell gate after the black out at July 13, 1977. An entire block was burned down, estimated loosing items from the poors’ looting cost more than 30millions during 25hours. A neighborhood of New York City changed since the night. The event didn’t change the neighborhood geographically, but it also changed the people. It was a humid hot day, there are no air conditionals, because the electricity is gone. People came out of their houses to wonder around. In this chaotic moment, gangs found this blackout as a chance. They robbed over five thousands pieces of tokens, which cost 5cent per a piece at the Halsey subway station (33) In this mass, One guy was reading a book under the emergency sign lights, while others were screaming inside the darkness at subway flat form. Meanwhile, some people were enjoying a jazz trios music with mixed cocktails and some food at a restaurant. (25) People were high right next to water fountains, and the evil dealers moved around actively. LSD, Thai sticks, angel dust, Hawaiian, and hash were selling like a candy from the candy shop. (26) After all these apocalyptic endless events were happened during the night, the city is still there. In fact, the condition has been getting better. James stated that people questions about why this was happening, yet they moved on within a week. That’s New Yorkers, the people, who could move on from the past. New Yorkers find their interests in a condition, where they were given. The conditions could be a looting day, a romantic candle light jazz night, a night and when you making money selling drugs like a cigarette on a street. What isn’t important for New Yorkers, how they cope with it is more important for keeping their power to move forward.
In conclusion, New Yorkers could cope with all these bad experiences, because they have abilities of evolving from the past and an ability to retranslate their bad experience to a laugh. Again, it doesn’t mean that New Yorkers’ endurances of the city’s condition are greater than others. 20th century’s development speed 10 years equal to one year in 21st century’s developmental. Almost all Brooklyn neighbors are gentrified in 2015. On the other hand, the crime rate in New York is decreasing due to city government’s budget increasing on NYPD. However, New York has been known for it’s New Yorkers’ reputation, and yet these New Yorkers might be leaving soon, because they can’t afford housing fee in NYC due to the gentrification. Changing is great, yet the city should slow down its own changing whether it’s good, or bad. Otherwise, these great New Yorkers might not follow up the speed of its changing and leave behind the city.