Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This was blooming in New York City on the first day of October, and though it's not a great picture, it seemed to me remarkable. I have never seen magnolias bloom in the fall before.

The Mayor has been all over the papers this week, having decided to bust through the term limits and run for a third term. I guess he thinks we need him, what with the economic crisis and all. His work has just begun. Actually, those little pedestrian strips he's creating at the Crossroads of the World? Another mayor would bulldoze right over them.

The mobile surveillance tower in Bloomberg's Broadway bench zone has moved to the other side of Forty-second Street, where it takes up less pedestrian room. The best use I've seen so far of the tables and benches was by a homeless person. He was just resting there, among the tourists, with all his worldly goods in a post-office-issue canvas bin-on-wheels. Tourists sit on the benches, taking a break from hauling their luggage between the train station and a hotel. I wonder what it's going to look like in the winter. Will someone shovel? Or will they use it to pile up the snow from the street?

Bloomberg has all three New York papers in his pocket, and of course he has a lot of money, so he could buy the city, if he wanted. He doesn't have (and here's the rub) too much competition. One guy who wants the job is Anthony Weiner, a congressman whose district includes Rockaway. Weiner is a little guy, and hard to take seriously. (Mayor Weiner?) Another contender is the City Council president, Christine Quinn. We can probably wait four more years before having our first lesbian mayor.

I must admit that none of what the Mayor has done so far has seemed too onerous to me. I'm a little worried about those windmills. It has already been decided that they'll be built off the coast of Queens, but they are supposed to be far enough offshore that they won't ruin the view from the beach. I'm still not convinced about the people sanctuaries. I think Bloomberg thinks it's cosmopolitan, something the French do, have places for people to sit outside. I told my hairdresser this (he's French), and he said, Yes, but not in the Champs-Elysées.

Here is the evil-eye that I got the ticket in Pennsylvania for.

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