Translation from English

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Being A Child in New York City- Manhattan

Generalizations are difficult about being a child in Manhattan, because you have to ask all sorts of sociological questions---rich or poor?-- immigrant or native born?-- what neighborhood? etc.

And then, of maybe greatest importance, what is the family condition in which the child finds him or herself?

For instance, knew a friend of my sister's once in Greenwich, CT where my parents lived for some years...  her father was a big executive with a major airline company. He would go into drunken rages sometimes and beat them all...

Can only say from what I can see and what I've heard is that 1) Life is much easier for kids in Manhattan than it used to be ( lower crime etc.), but parents are very watchful  2) the recession is creating a lot of new homeless kids 3) have met very few people who grew up in Manhattan who wanted to live there as young adults ( Vermont and California are favorite destinations).

Know people who have raised kids in Manhattan who say it's difficult but doable-- Manhattan probably led the way with the idea of "play dates" and carefully supervised group activities... and kids usually get out of the city in the summer and at other times. Used to be, NYC was notorious for kids who'd never seen a cow, doubt that's true today...
(my mother, by the way, was a kid in Manhattan and was working on a farm once in the summer--her widowed mother was very poor-- and got to know the cows very well. Was kicked unconscious by one once ( whoa there, flossie). In those days and places, nobody probably worried too much about concussions...)

If you have anything to say about this topic, please leave a comment, love to know what people think/what their own experiences are.