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VOA慢速英语2011--Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a Piece of the Empire State Building?

时间:2011-12-10 03:41来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

AMERICAN MOSAIC1 - Hey, Buddy2, Wanna Buy a Piece of the Empire State Building?


DOUG JOHNSON: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.


I’m Doug Johnson. On our show today we play music from rock band Nickelback …

We also answer a question from China about the state of Alaska …

But first, another question -- could a historic piece of New York City be up for sale soon?


Empire State Building

DOUG JOHNSON: Americans like to joke about the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. They use the expression “selling the Brooklyn Bridge” to describe a person who wants to trick someone else. Individuals have, in fact, offered to sell the publicly owned structure to trusting buyers. But it is not for sale.

But, over the years, we have never heard about someone selling New York’s Empire State Building -- until now. Christopher Cruise explains.

The Empire State Building in New York

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: The Empire State Building was the tallest structure in the world for more than forty years. Work on the building was finished in nineteen thirty-one. While it is no longer the tallest, it is probably the most famous. People from around the world visit its eighty-sixth floor observatory3 to see New York from high above.

Ten years ago, the Malkin family bought the Empire State Building for more than fifty-seven million dollars. Now, the family is considering selling shares in a publicly traded company that would operate buildings in New York and the state of Connecticut.

Teresa Martin set up the Real Estate Investment Association in New York. She wonders why the Malkin family is considering selling shares in the buildings.

TERESA MARTIN: “It may be that they may be in trouble and need to raise some funds. But it may just mean that they want to expand and need investor4 dollars to actually, you know, do what they foresee in their vision to do.”

Some people with offices in the Empire State Building say they are not happy with its restrooms and elevator equipment. The Malkin family has spent at least five hundred fifty million dollars making changes to the building, including replacing more than six thousand five hundred windows.

The cost of office space has more than doubled. The New York Times newspaper says the number of occupants has been dropped from nine hundred fifty in two thousand two to about two hundred now. But those leasing space in the building now have much larger offices.

Teresa Martin plans to buy shares in the Empire State Building. But she does not plan to put all of her money into the investment.

TERESA MARTIN: “If you’re telling me that I can get it for ten dollars a share, let’s say, would I get a hundred shares? Yeah. Would I get like two hundred thousand? Probably not. But I would get a piece.”

The one-hundred-two-story building is often lit up at night in honor of different causes or events. The New York Times spoke5 with someone who knows about the plan to sell shares in the real estate company. The person said the building would be lit up in green lights – the color of American money – if the plan to sell shares comes to pass. More details are expected early next year.


DOUG JOHNSON: Our listener question this week comes from Henan Province in China. Chenvican wants to know the history of America’s largest state -- Alaska.

The United States bought Alaska from Russia in eighteen sixty-seven for seven million dollars. That is less than five cents a hectare.

At the time, many Americans criticized the purchase. But it was one of the best deals the country ever made. Alaska proved rich in oil and minerals.

Part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Gold was found nearby in the Yukon area of Canada in the eighteen nineties. Thousands of people traveled to the Yukon through Alaska hoping to get rich. Most never did. But some of them decided6 to stay in Alaska. Mainly they earned their money as miners, fishermen, animal trappers and store owners.

Alaska became an official territory of the United States in nineteen twelve. Four years later, the first Alaskan statehood bill was proposed in Congress. Opponents argued that Alaska was far away, disconnected from the other states and little populated. Only about fifty-eight thousand people lived there at the time.

Yet those were not the only concerns. Historians say Congress was also unsure about the loyalties7 of native Alaskans -- the Aleuts, Indians and Eskimos. But during World War Two, national leaders recognized the importance of the territory to security in the Pacific.

The United States entered the war in nineteen forty-one after Japanese planes attacked the Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise attack sank many ships. After that, Congress provided billions of dollars in defense8 spending for Alaska. Today, federal spending is one of the most important parts of the state economy.

After the war, Alaskans were more serious than ever about statehood. They formed a Statehood Committee in nineteen forty-nine to work toward that goal.

Finally, in nineteen fifty-eight, Congress passed the Alaska Statehood Bill and President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law. Alaskans accepted it, and on January third, nineteen fifty-nine, President Eisenhower declared Alaska the forty-ninth state.



DOUG JOHNSON: The Canadian band Nickelback is a band critics love to hate. But the four-man, hard rock group is still a big success. Their new album, “Here and Now,” came out late last month. Barbara Klein has some of the songs.

BARBARA KLEIN: Nickelback formed in nineteen ninety-five. “Here and Now” is the band’s seventh album. It entered Billboard9 magazine’s Top Two Hundred Albums chart in the number two position. It is number one on Billboard’s Rock, Hard Rock and Alternative charts.

Nickelback songs are mainly about two subjects: sex and drinking. This album, however, also includes the song, “When We Stand Together.” It tells about war and society’s reaction to it:

There's bullets flying through the air
And they still carry on
We watch it happen over there
And then just turn it off

And then the song calls for change. It says that everybody wins when people stand together, hand in hand.


“When We Stand Together” is one of the first two singles released by “Nickelback.” The other is a drinking song, “Bottoms Up.”


Some people might find the songs offensive. But the band does offer a love song or two. “Trying Not to Love You,” tells the sad story of someone whose love is not returned. You hear the following words again and again:

Trying not to love you only goes so far,
Trying not to need you is tearing me apart

And finally the singer expresses this sad conclusion:

Cause trying not to love you,
Only makes me love you more


Nickelback seems to take criticism well. Recently, tens of thousands of people in Michigan signed a proposal to keep the band from performing at a Detroit Lions football game. Nickelback members answered by making fun of themselves in a video for a humorous web series, “Funny or Die.” That is the kind of cool that comes with selling more than fifty million albums.

We leave you with Nickelback performing “Lullaby” from their new album, “Here and Now.”


DOUG JOHNSON: I’m Doug Johnson. Our program was written by Christopher Cruise and Caty Weaver10, who was also our producer. And Mario Ritter was our reader.

Join us again next week for music and more on AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.

Clarification: Some references in this story might have suggested that the Empire State Building might be put on the market for sale. As the story correctly explains, the building might be turned into a publicly traded real estate company in which shares would be sold.


1 mosaic CEExS     
  • The sky this morning is a mosaic of blue and white.今天早上的天空是幅蓝白相间的画面。
  • The image mosaic is a troublesome work.图象镶嵌是个麻烦的工作。
2 buddy 3xGz0E     
  • Calm down,buddy.What's the trouble?压压气,老兄。有什么麻烦吗?
  • Get out of my way,buddy!别挡道了,你这家伙!
3 observatory hRgzP     
  • Guy's house was close to the observatory.盖伊的房子离天文台很近。
  • Officials from Greenwich Observatory have the clock checked twice a day.格林威治天文台的职员们每天对大钟检查两次。
4 investor aq4zNm     
  • My nephew is a cautious investor.我侄子是个小心谨慎的投资者。
  • The investor believes that his investment will pay off handsomely soon.这个投资者相信他的投资不久会有相当大的收益。
5 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
6 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
7 loyalties 2f3b4e6172c75e623efd1abe10d2319d     
n.忠诚( loyalty的名词复数 );忠心;忠于…感情;要忠于…的强烈感情
  • an intricate network of loyalties and relationships 忠诚与义气构成的盘根错节的网络
  • Rows with one's in-laws often create divided loyalties. 与姻亲之间的矛盾常常让人两面为难。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 defense AxbxB     
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
9 billboard Ttrzj     
  • He ploughed his energies into his father's billboard business.他把精力投入到父亲的广告牌业务中。
  • Billboard spreads will be simpler and more eye-catching.广告牌广告会比较简单且更引人注目。
10 weaver LgWwd     
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  Building
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