Let’s say you were on your way to work and looking to fulfill your a.m. salt bagel and coffee needs (as I often am). Are you going to go here:
Or are you going to go here:
Convenience is not a factor in your decision.
It’s a choice that, in a small way, defines who you are and what kind of city you want to live in. New York use to be full of red pills, like the one on the left. But for whatever reason, they are disappearing and being replaced with blue pills, like the one on the right.
This is the same fight that I meditated on in this David v. Goliath New York story. And for the record, even though I don’t think my small contribution will amount to squat, I always swallow the red pill of truth vs. the blue pill of blissful ignorance. (For salt bagels and coffee, that is. Please don’t test me on Life’s Big Decisions.)
This is Bryant Park, right behind the big library on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, with the new sod all laid out. Can you old-time New Yorkers pick out what’s odd about this sod?
What’s the biggest surprise in these photos?
The shock is that nobody is ON THE GRASS! The lawn is surrounded by an ankle-high orange rope and small signs imploring people to stay off the sod and allow it to take root.
This is as good an illustration as any as to how far New York has come since I move here over two decades ago. When I got here, Bryant Park was a den of crime and drugs. You didn’t dare go NEAR it. All the dregs of 42nd Street would empty out into the park. At that time, the crackheads would have used the rope to tie up wayward tourists and picked their pockets. Now, it’s clean and full of law abiding citizens.
Some people bemoan the disappearance of “old” New York and pitch a fit about the “Disneyfication” of Times Square but take it from me, even though it may have cost the city some of its soul, this is a much, much better way to live. Don’t argue with me. It just is.