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If you have a spare 17 hours

I am watching again the Ric Burns documentary on the history of NYC.  I saw it years ago, long before I ever dreamed of living here. I remembered from it, violent snapshots, the slave revolt, the civil war riots, the shirtwaist fire. (And for some reason an enduring affection for Al Smith.)

I am watching now as a resident, as someone who has come to love this place. I suspect that I will live here, one way or another, for the rest of my life.

And what a joy to learn things that add to that love. This afternoon I had to hit stop at one point. The narrator said that New York harbor is one of the 'three best natural harbors in the world.' Before I knew it husband and I were researching the worlds harbors. We spent a good half hour waving our hands in the air and talking about wind, and ship draft, and shipping lanes.

An extra plus for me is that the narration is done by David McCullough. He has a lovely voice, calm and easy to listen to. He is a delightful man in real life too. He lives in the town where I grew up. He has a son and daughter either side of me in age. His daughter and i spent a long afternoon once hatching a plan to talk him into letting her buy a pet goat. I think she ended up with a pony instead though.

The doc is made by Ric Burns, the brother of Ken Burns who did the one on the Civil War. The format is similar, a voice, and images from maps, and paintings, photos, and, at the end, moving images. It was made before Sept 11, so you can also see shots of the twin towers. I always forget how much taller than everything else they were. Strage and shivery to see them there.

Anyway, I highly reccomend this documentary. It is long though. I have been watching 4 hours now, and am still only up to the 1760s!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2015 03:54 pm (UTC)
I'll have to see if I can get that through my library!! Sounds interesting!

Some years ago I took a weekend (walking) course on Boston's history, which, even as a life-long resident, had some surprises in it! It was also great to SEE places I'd known about for many years.
Jan. 10th, 2015 05:03 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a very worthwhile way to spend 17 hours :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )