Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Criticism against New York City Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words

The Criticism against New York City - Essay Example These include hygiene and health issues, overcrowding, crime, poverty, ethnic conflict, and abysmal housing conditions, particularly in the tenements. A study of the criticisms about the city and the grounds on which it is based is very illuminating. The problem of cleanliness has plagued New York City throughout its history and its association with filth remains to this day. Steinbeck said "New York is an ugly city, a dirty city".1 At one time, it was so dirty, pigs made the city their home and roamed the streets freely. Charles Dickens in his American Notes (1842), 2 gives a humorous account of the "gentlemen hogs" as the city's self - appointed scavengers and contributors of filth and disease. In addition to the disgraceful lack of cleanliness, the city did not have an adequate garbage disposal or sewer system. Therefore the city was susceptible to the attack of infectious diseases. New York has found itself in the grip of epidemic disease more often than it would care to remember. In the words of Lankevich, "Yellow fever visited the city five times between 1795 and 1822, and in 1832, a new strain of cholera swept into New York. Cholera reappeared in 1834, 1849, and 1855, typhoid fever ravaged the immigrants in 1837, and typhus erupted in 1842".3 Frances Trollope in her Domestic Manners of the Americans remarked on the queer practice New Yorkers had of fleeing the city in particular seasons in order to escape the dreaded plague. Over the years as the situation became increasingly serious and disease continued to ravage the city and its populace, public officials and the citizens themselves did everything they could to improve living conditions. Consequently there was considerable improvement in cleanliness levels and killer diseases were kept at bay. It is the general opinion that New York has failed to resolve its hygiene issues to this very day. Most critics insist that the city has not risen to the challenge of sanitation. They point to the slums which remain cesspools of dirt and disease, as evidence to support their claim. Moreover the city continues to wrestle with health issues, particularly the problem of communicable diseases. While diseases like cholera and typhoid have been effectively controlled thanks to the intervention of modern medical science, more threatening diseases like Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have emerged to plague the populace. At one time it was considered to be hardly a cause for alarm as it was believed to be restricted exclusively to the homosexual community. Statistics however tell a different story of the rapid spread of AIDS in epidemic proportions. Greenfield and Reid state, "New York City ranks number one in the country when it comes to its rate of AIDS cases per population - and has more cases than the four runner - up cities combined".4 Truly a shocking state of affairs! From hordes of swine to deadly viruses the city continues to struggle with hygiene and disease. In the face of things, hygiene and disease seem miniscule issues when compared to the problems that have stemmed from the city's rapidly increasing population. New York City has thrown open its gates to immigrants of various ethnic backgrounds. Russians, Germans, Irish, Jews and Asians have thronged to its shores

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