Do cities have a dot? Will the aspiring representative Bill de Blasio? Plus, Nadler vs. Maloney

Posted on May 23, 2022 at 5:15 a.m. by West Side Rag

Duck, duck… ball of light? Photograph by Margie Smith Holt.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Monday, May 23, 2022
Early morning clouds followed by sunshine. High 76 degrees.

Our calendar contains many local events! (Click on the lady in the upper right corner.)

This weekend, the news raised two questions to ponder: What is a city for?; and, Can Bill de Blasio be popular?

“In the age of Zoom, when white-collar workers are increasingly detached from the office, cities must be more than skyscrapers,” writes Mark Sappenfield, editor of The Christian Science Monitor. “They have to be habitable. In other words, if you can live anywhere you want, then cities should be a place where you want to live.

Over the centuries, public health crises have played an important role in making cities more livable, Sappenfield points out. “A 2021 United Nations report notes that during the bubonic plague, Lucca, Italy forced all of its residents to clean the street outside their homes every Saturday. In the 19th century, concerns about tuberculosis in the United States led to a demand for more open spaces. The result was public parks like the Emerald Necklace in Boston and Central Park in New York.

We are still in the process of recognizing and analyzing the changes that COVID-19 has brought to New York and their effects on livability. What about dining sheds, with their proponents and detractors? Or the increase in the number of cyclists and owners, resulting in more cycle lanes and fewer parking spaces? Or the continued push for more open spaces, such as open streets. Will we ever say that COVID-19 has challenged the pre-eminence of the automobile in New York and led to a reassessment of the use of public space, including sidewalks and sidewalks, on behalf of the habitability?

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