Thursday, February 23, 2012

International NYC Redux

A few years ago, my family and I visited China. Shortly after blogging about that trip, I blogged about the interconnected global village we all live. When you visit a KFC in the Beijing airport, you realize the world has indeed shrunk.

The world is big and small at the same time. Or flat, as others have called it. 

Living in NYC, you are acutely aware of living in the capital of the world. We are not just a great American city, we are not only an international city like London or Tokyo, we are the capital of the world because this is where the world comes together.

This is the home of Ellis Island and the United Nations. This is a city with whole neighborhoods defined by the nationalities that populate them (Little Italy, two Chinatowns, Koreans in Flushing, Greeks in Astoria, Russians in Brighton Beach, Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg, and on and on). This is where the Statue of Liberty sits, a symbol not only of our nation's liberty but a beacon to the world -- Lady Liberty, that Mother of Exiles, calling the poor, tired huddled masses from Ancient lands yearning to be free.

As much as I write about NYC on this blog, I also like to write about wherever I travel to in the USA and the world. So far I've traveled to, and blogged about, China, Venice, Paris, London, Portland, New Orleans, and Kansas City. I've also blogged about the various exhibits at the Met that have an international flavor. And the neighborhood I live in, Astoria, is not only the Greek capital of NYC but also the Egyptian capital of NYC -- and the Arab Spring has not only taken place in Cairo and Libya and Tunisia but also on Steinway Street

NYC is the world.

And learning more about the world is always fascinating. 

Increasing, like a lot of Americans, I've gotten sick of watching the TV news because so much of it is dumb and cynical. Also, American news poorly covers the world. But if you live in NYC (and have cable), you not only live in the capital of the world but the world can literally come into your living room. On our cable system, we have some of the best international cable channels available. Now a lot of them are in other languages but several of the best ones are in English. Specifically, CNN International, Al Jazeera English, Russian Today, and CCTV (the Chinese English service). Also, you can find BBC World News on most PBS stations. 

If you want to find these channels on your dial, go to the Time Warner website or flip around on the remote.

The quality of the reporting on these international stations is vastly superior to regular network and cable news. You learn so much about the world in which we live that you feel much smarter after watching it. And when you live in NYC, the capital of the world, it's great to have these international cable channels to compliment this international city. 

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