Jules Verne’s adventure story was published in 1873. Phileas Fogg of London and his French valet, Passepartout, attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £2.25 million today) set by his friends at the Reform Club.
While we might have 80 days ahead of us in lock-down with the CoVid-19 coronavirus, this doesn’t mean we can’t travel – the internet at least.
Situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbours, New York City is composed of five ‘boroughs’:Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. They were consolidated into a single city in 1898. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York was the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, and has been the largest US city since 1790.
Fogg would have visited a violent city. A quarter of the population (about 200000) were Irish who had recently arrived trying to escape the Great Irish Potato Famine. They joined a similar number of German immigrants, the most recent of which were trying to escape the political unrest back home. Anger at new military conscription laws during the American Civil War (1861–1865), which spared wealthier men who could afford to pay a $300 (equivalent to $6,229 in 2019) commutation fee to hire a substitute, led to the Draft Riots of 1863, whose most visible participants were from the ethnic Irish working class.
The situation deteriorated into attacks on New York’s elite, followed by attacks on black New Yorkers and their property after fierce competition for work over a decade between Irish immigrants and black people. Rioters burned the Colored Orphan Asylum to the ground, with more than 200 children escaping harm due to efforts of the New York Police Department, which was mainly made up of Irish immigrants. At least 120 people were killed. Eleven black men were lynched over five days, and the riots forced hundreds of blacks to flee the city for Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The black population in Manhattan fell below 10,000 by 1865, which it had last been in 1820. The white working-class had established dominance. Violence by longshoremen against black men was especially fierce in the docks area. It was one of the worst periods of civil unrest in American history.
With such a cosmopolitan community, there are plenty of radio stations to choose from. There’s a list on Wikipedia of 641 different stations in New York alone! My favourite is Radio New York Live “from the very heart of Manhattan in New York City, the real big apple sound”: http://tun.in/seQac