Monday, May 18, 2009

What's Happening?

There's something always going on in NYC, even if it's not necessarily grabbing the headlines.

The big news in town today is that we now have our first confirmed death from swine flu -- Mitchell Wiener, an assistant principal from Queens. Obviously Mr NYC extends his deepest sympathies to his family and to all those who are suffering from this terrible thing. Let's hope this is the only death our city will experience and that everyone recovers from swine flu.

But there's more going on in NYC beneath the media glare. This Sunday, right before Memorial Day, the city will implement its new traffic strategies in Times Square. Several blocks are going to be blocked off to cars and trucks and, by this fall, Times Square (and eventually Herald Square and Madison Square) will be transformed from traffic clogged intersections into pedestrian plazas.

This week New York magazine has a great profile of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan who is overseeing this and other changes to the way New Yorkers get around town. What's great about her is that she is determined to make this city less dependent on cars and make alternative transportation more appealing. Some critics says she is some kind of hippie-crunchy elitist who doesn't understand how "real" New Yorkers live but, if you see how she wants to make moving around this city easier, I don't know how you can object to what she's doing. I know I knock Bloomberg a lot on here but Janette is really one of his best hires.

Finally, if you want to better understand how the economic recession is affecting average (and not so average) New Yorkers, check out Downsize NYC which gives first-person stories about how some people are coping with their changes of fortune.

No, it's never dull in NYC.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love it if those areas looked more like 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica...


Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.