“If I can, make it there, I’ll make it, Anywhere…” Truer words were never spoken of all the true words there are. The truth of that statement still exist, but THAT “New York, New York” is long gone. As this life has afforded me nearly half a century, ‘these vagabond shoes are longing to stray’, not so much ‘through the very heart of it’, but to continue my journey around the country and the world.
New York City is without a doubt THE Best City in the World – It just is. Those who don’t know, or have a false perception to the contrary is inconsequential, as they merely have yet to realize it.
I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to work and play on the streets of NYC since I was a teen. The 42nd street I first came to visit was a lot dirtier than it is now, but it had a lot more character, and a host of characters to go with it. Giuliani began the Disney-fication of “Forty-Deuce” as it was affectionately referred to ‘back in the day’. It’s no longer worthy of a hip colloquial reference, as Bloomberg has turned what used to be “Times Square” into a concrete park. If you didn’t know it before what it is now, trust me, a lot of what’s happened, sucks. Like the undo multitude of islands that have been placed throughout the city on various avenues that have altered parking and limited the amount of space to drive on the streets.
One thing that I do find progressive are the new bicycle ports being sponsored by Citibank. This would have been brilliant to incorporate somehow with the aforementioned ‘undo islands’, keeping the money that will come from it with the city. A different architect or mayor may have seen that, but… Citibank has done what’s already existed in other cities and Europe for years.
Currently with several bike stations around the city, there are plans on hundreds to be installed as far north as Lincoln Center, and as far south as Wall St., with stations across the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. No plans for Harlem planned yet though on the website — there’s Citbanks in Harlem…? I wondered why… so I called, according to the very astute “Adler,” in customer service, the “Ctibkie” initiative would not go into effect above 66th street until “Phase Two” of the project. Citibank wants to see how things go with the current dynamics in place, which launches on Memorial Day, May 27th. Nonetheless, it was a no-brainer that should have been instituted in this city long before now, to go with the bike lanes that were established when the ‘undo islands” were put in place. Amsterdam has been doing this for years. In addition to having a means of alternative transportation, it simply makes for better air quality. You can find out more at citibikenyc.com
Another new addition I’ve noted around Manhattan are Information Booths. They now exist where phone booths, used to be, or just next to one of the few that are left. It renders various activities to do around the city, places to dine, I imagine retail info too, but I didn’t look that close.
One thing that really took me aback most recently, is that there’s no trace of the old 8th Street I grew up with. It had been years since I strolled down 8th between 6th Avenue and Broadway… What a difference compared to yesteryear and it appears that they’re really just getting started. In addition to a whole new bunch of merchants, there’s a lot of construction going on and scaffolding everywhere.
As I walked down the block starting at 6th Avenue, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios greets you on the south side of the street, and Gray’s Papaya on the north side, but that’s it. The movie theater, the smoke shops, the boutiques… all gone, remember “FLIP”? I think all I ever got from there was the buttons, but it spoke to the nature of the people that frequented the area. Now it’s probably primarily property purchased by NYU for the purpose of over charging anticipated students for an education some will take a lifetime to pay.
The New NYC is bringing a different kind of FUNK that’s not Funkin’ familiar, as for the first time in more than 60 years more people moved into New York City than out last year, according to the Huffington Post. A turnaround that tracks changing attitudes about the nation’s biggest city and urban living more broadly, according to officials and researchers. The net influx – about 12,000 people – is a small piece of the city’s overall growth to a record high population of more than 8.3 million, according to census estimates released this past March.
It’s just getting too crowded! More and more bricks being added to the smog and carbon monoxide in the air, on top of more people… It’s a lot… What, me complain, Nah – It’s merely a keen observation. I Love New York, and from where I’m standing, it’ll be here for as long as I desire to live in it, depart and return. So for all those who have not been here yet, you owe it to yourself to visit. The link below is for those who have more than likely been here too long.
from a FOREVR Lover of NYC