New York is the most famous city in the world, said former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at his farewell address on Dec. 27.
To many people around the world, being able to visit the Big Apple is the fulfillment of a lifetime dream. According to the latest survey, even 52 percent of Americans want to visit this great city. Every one has a New York dream, Giuliani said.
A recent poll shows New York is the friendliest city in the nation. This baffles me. Fifteen years ago, it was placed at the bottom in a survey. People living in bigger cities tend to be unfriendlier than those in small ones. That has something to do with language barrier, habits and customs of various ethnic groups and new immigrants, who prefer to live in New York because of job opportunities.
Furthermore, Giuliani, who two weeks ago was named Time magazines Person of the Year, said last month New York was the safest among the nations big cities. Its major crimes had declined steadily while crime rates in other big cities went up sharply. He did a great PR job for New Yorks revitalization after the World Trade Center attacks. His statement will certainly encourage more people to come here for a visit or work.
Besides, the Sept. 11 incident apparently has brought New Yorkers closer together, and people care about one another more than ever.
There are many factors contributing to the citys notoriety. The imposing skyscrapers and job opportunities are perhaps the two most prominent attractions of the city, which has a population of 8 million people plus 5 million pets dogs and cats, excluding other exotic animals like alligators, lizards, turtles and snakes.
Of course, New Yorkers are more affluent than those in most other cities around the world. Some families here have three to five pets. It was reported nearly 70 million pets in the nation got presents from their owners during the past holiday season.
Its ironic, though, that there are still homeless people sleeping in makeshift shelters made of cardboard boxes at street corners in the city during the winter. In many ways, they fare worse than pets.
Ours is one of the richest cities in the world, yet we are still unable to solve this problem that is likely to tarnish New Yorks image as the worlds top metropolis. I said in an earlier column that foreigners want to visit three American cities, New York, Miami and Los Vegas.
The city had done a very good job in providing food and temporary shelters for some of the homeless. But its not enough. We hope the city and the private sectors will find jobs and permanent shelters for those able-bodied homeless people once and for all and place the infirm ones at good institutions.
During the holiday season, charity-minded people seemed to be less generous than before in helping the less fortunate ones in the metropolitan area because of the lingering recession and the impact of the terror attacks, which caused more than $100 billion losses in the city. In addition, more than 100,000 people lost their jobs.
Speaking of pets, we should not ignore two dog-related incidents that occurred recently in Flushing. Channel 11 alleged that a Korean restaurant served customers with dog meat. The report sent shock wave through the pet-loving world.
But the owner insisted it was lamb. The dispute lasted a couple of weeks before the TV station finally withdrew what it reported and apologized for it. Few people patronized the restaurant after the report. What a terrible misunderstanding! The apology, however, will undoubtedly help the restaurant regain its lost business.
Dog meat was and perhaps still is available in some countries and areas in the Far East. People there treated the dog just like any other domestic animal. The general belief was that the consumption of such meat could keep the human body warm during the winter. So dog meat was in great demand. It seems an increasing number of people in that region have begun to repudiate that weird belief.
The other unhappy incident was that a pit bull recently flew at a man without provocation in front of the Flushing Library while its master reportedly watched and did nothing to stop it until cops came to the rescue of the victim. The man suffered serious injuries after the dog sank its teeth into his leg. The man was taken to a hospital, and the dog and its owner were under police custody. The owner should be held responsible for his dogs action in this case.
The pit bull, ferocious by nature, has been banned in many communities across the nation. In a civilized society, we should avoid this type of pet.
©2002 Community News Group
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