Imagine that you could travel back in time and visit some place in the past. Which time and which place would you visit, and why? Use specific examples and reasons to explain your answer.
If I could go back in time to visit some particular place and era, I probably would choose New York City in the 1940s. The years between 1940 and 1950 were a very attractive time for New York. Visiting New York in that decade might be a very pleasant experience for many reasons.
For example, New York was a reasonably safe city then. The average citizen had much less then to fear from crime on the street. A dollar bought much more then than it does now. The city then was, in large part, identical to the city now. The street layout was the same, and most of the familiar tall buildings were already constructed. Moreover, New York’s intellectual, literary, and cultural life was at its peak then.
Of course, many conveniences of modern life were unavailable in New York during the 1940s. Banks had no automatic teller machines. There was no evening news to watch on television, because TV networks had not arisen yet. Air conditioning was relatively rare, and so the city’s hot, humid summers could be oppressive. There was no Internet. There were no personal computers, either. The word “Netizen” would have been meaningless.
Nonetheless, New York was a vibrant, fascinating place in the 1940s, and I would gladly give up many modern conveniences, at least for a while, in order to visit it at that time.