The theme is an old one. In 1890, Jacob Riis (1840-1914) published his searing study of tenement life, How the Other Half Lives The title is from a French proverb from at least the early 1600s: "One half the world doesn't know how the other half lives."
Although New York City can be divided into rich and poor, there are not two New Yorks, or eight million New Yorks. It is a "mosaic" of many, but it is one New York.
James MacKenzie, Sidney Strauss and Walker & Gilette.
East 6th to East 10th St., east of Ave. D.
3 February 1848, Davenport (Iowa) Gazette, pg. 1, col. 4:
It is an old saying that one half the world does not know how the other half lives; to which we may add, that one half the world does not know how the other half makes a living.
7 December 1874, New York Times, pg. 4:
VARIETIES OF NEW-YORK LIFE.
Perhaps partly as the result of the peculiar conformation of Manhattan island, the trite saying as to one half the world not knowing how the other half lives is especially true concerning it.
4 January 1891, New York Times, pg. 19:
MATTERS WE OUGHT TO KNOW.
HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES. Studies Among the Tenements of New-York. By JACOB A. RIIS. New-York: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.
Mr. J. A. Riis has had the fullest experience in regard to the subject he treats, for he has devoted many years to the study of New-York. The title explains itself, for it is true "that one-half of the world does not know how the other half lives." The question is, Does it care?
Mr. Riis's views of the conditions of "the other half" may not be sentimental, but rather the insight of one of a practical turn of mind who describes exactly what he sees.
7 October 1993, New York Times, pg. B1:
Two Candidates Present Two New Yorks
By ELIZABETH KOLBERT
In the New York City of Rudolph W. Giuliani's television ads, people live in fear. They worry about drug dealers, high taxes and bad schools. They are scrappy and strident, and their voice had a timbre that is straight out of Brooklyn.
They resent the implication that a vote for Mrs. Giuliani has anything to do with race.
In the New York of David N. Dinkins's ads, people live in harmony. They favor conciliation and healing, and in times of trouble, they walk the streets together. They are optimistic and hopeful, yet paradoxically, they see racial unrest as an ever=present possibility.
Their most pressing fear, it seems, is Mr. Giuliani.
30 March 2001, New York Times, pg. B3:
Mr. Ferrer, who is seeking to become the city's first Hispanic mayor with what his aides have described as an explicit appeal for support from black and Puerto Rican voters, presented himself as a product of that part of New York, describing how, as he grew up in the Bronx, he could not rely on having heat or hot water.
"I understand what the other New York was like," Mr. Ferrer said. "And I know the need to pull those two New Yorks together."
18 April 2001, New York Times, pg. B1:
Platform Built on a Divided City
Ferrer Courts Voters He Says Giuliani Left Behind
(...) (Pg. B4)
In offering his description of New York's "two cities," Mr. Ferrer recently roused a group of ministers in Harlem to their feet with his discussion of the need for improved relations with the police.
4 October 2001, New York Times, pg. D1:
2 New Yorks
The other New York, the theme on which Mr. Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, ran before Sept. 11? Gone.