ladymandrake: (books)
[personal profile] ladymandrake
For the first time in my master's program I have been assigned a required read that I not only enjoyed reading (ok maybe enjoyed is the wrong term...didn't dispise is more like it given the subject matter) but that has given me new perspective. It is the book "five points" by Tyler Anbinder.

I was looking forward to reading it because Gangs of New York is one of my FAVORITE movies. And i had hoped this book would provide interesting insight to the people in the movie (or at least more historical perspective). All I can say is WOW. I Thank the gods for living in the 21st century with running water, food, heat, and clean clothes. Compared to how these poor immigrants (who btw are ALL of our ancestors...not just ones that can prove direct descendant status... we all came from somewhere and that somewhere was probably no prettier than these folks had it) we live like royalty.

I look around at what we have and think how blessed we are that we have warm coats, shoes, more than on set of clothes, and that we can afford to feed our children and better ourselves. Our culture has come quite a ways in 100 years. But it also makes me wonder if these types of conditions and tenement hells still exist and we just don't know about them. And I know other countries in the world do live much like the immigrants did in new york. Mat on the dirt floor, barely enough food to eat, barely clothed and praying they get through winter.

Gives you perspective. It really does. So for that I'm thanking the universe for this reminder, and for all the gifts of modernity that we take for granted. For the US is really not all that removed from its ancestry...So be thankful you are here now, and that you have what you have. Which, as we were reminded by the news this morning, can all be swept away with an earthquake or wave of water...
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May 2011

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